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Invest in afforestation for healthy living – Minister urges Nigerians

The Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Mariya Mahmoud, has urged Nigerians to increase investment in afforestation, describing it as critical towards building a healthy environment for a healthy living.

Mahmoud made the call in Abuja on Wednesday, at an event organised to commemorate the 2024 World Family Doctors’ Day.

The minister, who was represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Administration and Strategy, Dr Abdullahi Kauranmata, called on Nigerians to embrace afforestation against deforestation for its numerous benefits.

According to her, the health of the people is largely dependent on the status of the planet.

She said that the theme, “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” was timely and strategic, considering the importance of family doctors in any society.

“The contribution of family physicians to the healthcare system, especially in providing basic services is commendable.

“Most of the healthcare burden of Nigerian families are handled by the family physicians who are trained to handle all manner of diseases.

“A well-trained family physician is expected to perform and assist in routine surgeries, provide emergency care, vaccinate patients to prevent and treat diseases, perform patient advocacy roles, and coordinate or manage primary patient care amongst other services,” she said.

She called on family physicians to continue to support President Bola Tinubu to actualise his “Renewed Hope” agenda and pledged the FCT Administration’s continued support to family physicians.

Earlier, President of the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria, Prof. Musa Dankyau, said that family physicians recognised the interconnectedness of environmental health and human health.

Dankyau equally recognised the key role family doctors play in promoting environment and human health.

He pointed out that Nigeria was currently witnessing the effects of environmental degradation on the health of the populations.

“The effects from air pollution and climate change to deforestation, and water contamination are real, affecting our daily lives from Sokoto to Lagos, Jos to Enugu, Maiduguri to Port Harcourt.

“However, as family physicians, we are uniquely positioned to address these challenges and advocate for the health of our patients and families, as well as our planet,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Family Doctors Day is being celebrated annually, to recognise the vital role of family doctors in delivering personal, comprehensive, and continuous health care to patients.

It also serves as an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of family doctors to the health of the planet and the patient.


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