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USAID Partners SON to Combat Lead Poisoning in Nigeria

By Faridat Salifu

In a significant move to tackle the pressing issue of lead poisoning in Nigeria, the United States Government, through its Agency for International Development (USAID), has partnered with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

A recent announcement made by Aisha Gambari, spokesperson of the U.S. Embassy, revealed the collaborative effort during a courtesy visit to Dr. Ifeanyi Okeke, Director-General of SON, in Abuja.

Melissa Jones, Nigeria Mission Director of USAID, underscored the commitment to mitigating lead exposure risks, particularly among Nigerian children.

The partnership aims to bolster surveillance, regulation, and enforcement of standards pertaining to consumer goods and paints in Nigeria.

USAID will provide technical support to raise awareness about the safe usage of products containing lead and assist Nigeria’s participation in the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint.

Dr. Okeke outlined SON’s proactive measures, including the adoption of global standards that prohibit the production and importation of paint products with lead concentration exceeding 90 parts per million.

Additionally, SON will collaborate with federal agencies to spearhead lead removal initiatives in high-risk communities.

Lead exposure, often linked to unsafe mining and ore processing, poses a grave threat to public health, especially among children.

The statement emphasized USAID’s broader role in supporting health systems strengthening, transparent governance, basic education, and economic development in Nigeria.

The collaboration between USAID and SON reflects a unified approach to combat lead poisoning and prioritize public health and safety in Nigeria.

Through joint initiatives and technical assistance, the partnership aims to shield communities, especially vulnerable populations, from the detrimental effects of lead exposure.

 

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