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UN World Health Day Observed in Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria—More than 144 health professionals and Ambassadors for Peace attended a Health for Peace Assembly on the occasion of World Health Day.

UPF-Nigeria convened the special assembly on April 7 at the National Merit Award House in Abuja’s Maitama district. World Health Day is celebrated around the world every April 7 under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization.

The special assembly brought together health educators and professionals, representatives of health institutions, agencies and organizations, as well as Ambassadors for Peace in the health sector, to deliberate on the theme of the 2017 World Health Day: “Depression: Let’s Talk.”

The assembly was chaired by Professor Chimele Abengowe, a health consultant with the State House Clinic, Abuja, and co-chaired by Rev. Felix Johnson Osakwe, the founder and general overseer of the Christ Evangelical and Prayer Ministries Worldwide. Several health professionals offered their goodwill messages at the event.

In their keynote addresses the two co-chairs expressed concerns about the growth of depression in Nigeria and around the world. They called for urgent collaborative efforts between medical professionals and spiritual leaders to reverse this trend.

Participants gave diverse perspectives on how to respond to the challenges of depression in Nigeria. The general consensus was that we should strive to “live for the sake of others” and to “live with others” as a way of overcoming depression.

The assembly also examined other contemporary health challenges facing Nigeria and spoke on the urgent need to work together toward the realization of universal access to health care.

UPF-Nigeria used the occasion to introduce its Health Education for Peace Initiative and to emphasize the need for the formation of the Ambassadors for Peace Committee on Health.

UPF-Nigeria Secretary General Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko explained that the Health Education for Peace Initiative seeks to engage professionals from the health sector on the connection between health and the universal principles of peace. Dr. Oko’s presentation included a general introduction to universal health education, the root cause of diseases and ill health, and the principle of restoration of a healthy lifestyle with emphasis on how health professionals can contribute to building a peaceful Nigeria by 2020. (An overview of the presentation is attached below.)

Some outstanding health professionals and VIPs were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace:

  1. Hon. Ndukwe Charles Chuka, Enugu state commissioner for youth and sports
  2. Chief Uju Anthony Patrick Ogheneuwemor
  3. Lawrence Anyabile
  4. Mrs. Asiogu Adaku Celestina
  5. Mrs. Sylvia Chioma Chukwudebelu Ezeani
  6. Mohammed Baalbaki
  7. Engineer Arthur Warefa
  8. Ms. Adaobi Kate Uchegbu
  9. Bosede Folake Adeyemi
  10. Ukpai George Ndukwe
  11. Egwu Victor Ikechukwu
  12. Engineer Ugwu Ugochukwu Johnson
  13. Ishaq Ahmed Ningi

Some health institutions, agencies and organizations making outstanding contributions to health delivery services in Nigeria were also recognized. The following received certificates of commendation for their contribution to creating access to health services in local communities in Nigeria:

  1. Lutheran College of Health Technology, Iboko, Okpoma, Cross River State
  2. ECWA (Evangelical Church of West Africa) Comprehensive Medical Center, Karu, Federal Capital Territory
  3. Women Environmental Programme, a Nigerian NGO
  4. My Sisters Health Watch

The participants at the assembly commended the UPF for its many efforts to bring stakeholders together to address contemporary issues facing the nation. More than 100 participants signed up to become UPF members involved in the Health Education for Peace Initiative.

More online photos are available via https://goo.gl/photos/pBP1jAVcUtWhmSb5A

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