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Nigeria: Time to celebrate

While sitting at the World Health Assembly, surrounded by delegations from heath ministries from around the world, and hearing of their endeavours to deliver on the right to health for all their citizens, I received an email from my colleagues in Nigeria sharing some very, very exciting news.

Yesterday, the long-awaited National Health Bill was passed, and it is expected that this will soon be enshrined into national law.

This Bill asserts the rights of all mothers and their children to quality essential health care.

Until now, this right had not been enshrined meaning that the people of Nigeria lacked the legal framework upon which to hold their government accountable to this right.

I celebrated this achievement with Dr. Philippa Momah, Head of the Family Health Department in the Nigerian Ministry of Health, who said: “It is great. I rejoice with our women and children on the passage of the National Health Bill.”

Let me extend my congratulations to the people of Nigeria on this achievement, to all of those who have fought long and hard for this moment, and to my colleagues there who have played a part in making this happen.

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