The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu had disclosed that International Labour Organisation (ILO) have estimated that about 6000 workers die each year worldwide due to work-related accidents or illnesses.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director of Public Health of the ministry, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale at the scientific conference of the Society of Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria(SOEHPON) in Lagos with the theme “Healthy Workplace Environment” said, a lot of efforts are in place to ensure full implementation of the national policy on occupational safety and health.
The Minister averred that the ministry would offer technical support in policy development, awareness creation and capacity building that will be geared towards revitalisation of occupational health services nationwide.
Chukwu said, the health of workers in all kinds of occupation was paramount to their effectiveness in the performance of their job.
“The introduction of new technologies, chemical substances and materials in developing countries like Nigeria, resulted in rapid changes which in turn affects the health of workers and the environment,” he stated.
He urged the society to come up with strategies that would address the challenges of Nigerian workers and promote highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in the country.
The National Chairman of the society, Dr. Dominic Ukpong in his speech, however called on the government to partner with the society to establish a firm occupational and environmental healthcare in the country.
Government at all levels should strive to develop this critical segment of the national health to ensure the health and safety of Nigerian workers, he said.