Outbreak: Nigeria yet to formulate position on pandemic treaty process – Ehanire 

The federal government is yet formulate a position on Pandemic Treaty process aimed at ensuring that all countries, including Nigeria, are better equipped to deal with the next pandemic, reduce the impact of health systems, economies and societies, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said.

Dr. Ehanire also said the country is yet to act on any of the critical issues that have been raised during the development of the conceptual zero treaty draft document or the discussions at the Third Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB). 

Ehanire, who noted this in Abuja during the High-Level meeting on Nigeria’s engagement on the Pandemic and IHR amendment, said there has been no formal coordination and collaboration among key government stakeholders during the early negotiations of the draft pandemic treaty.

According to him, the country has not yet been able to advance a robust contribution to the development of the draft document as well as understand the implications to the sectors of the country, particularly the health security, national security and economy. 

The minister explained that the high-level meeting was to articulate and develop a position in collaboration with all relevant sectors that will be represented at the INB meetings going forwards.

He further assured on federal government’s full support and cooperation to have a position that is presentable, adding that the Pandemic Treaty process is an ongoing effort to improve preparedness and response to future pandemics by promoting international cooperation and coordination. 

On IHR (2005) Amendment: Overview and Key issues, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ifedayo Adetifa, explained that Nigeria’s role in the pandemic treaty negotiations to strengthening of international relationships participating in the pandemic treaty negotiations will strengthen Nigeria’s relationships with other countries and international organisations.

He also said by working together on global health issues, countries can build trust and cooperation, which can have positive effects on other areas of international relations.

Also, the Country Director, Resolve to Save Lives, a non-governmental organisation, Dr Emmanuel Agogo, said the meeting seeks to get Nigeria to think about these two documents, the global governance infrastructure and make sure that the country has a clear direction based on the experience of COVID-19 and how the country should engage with those global architectures. 

“The whole idea is to structure a new cooperation with other countries coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO),so that if something happens ,you will get the help. It becomes the test, it becomes medication or whatever will be needed for responding to outbreaks in the future 

“The bottom line is that these documents are zero drafts, so that all other countries are expected to sit down and look at it and see how to negotiate to benefit their people,” he said.