Nigeria sets to develop National Policy to phase down amalgam


Stakeholders including top government officials, academicians, civil society, Nigeria Dental Association, dentists in private practice, institutions, media, development partners and other relevant bodies will converge in Abuja, the nation capital city on Tuesday July 17, 2018 to develop a National Policy on the phase down of dental amalgam use in Nigeria.
The National Summit, organised by the Federal Ministry of Health, Sustainable Research and Action for Development (SRADev Nigeria), and with the full support of World Alliance for Mercury Free-Dentistry (WAMFD) will provide a platform for national stakeholders to work collegially to begin the phase down of the use of dental amalgam in Nigeria
Besides, the summit will also assist the country to reach a consensus in ending amalgam use in children as an integrated approach to the implementation of the Minamata Convention’s requirement to phase down amalgam use before the 2nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP2) in November 2018.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury was agreed at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on mercury in Geneva, Switzerland on the morning of Saturday, 19 January 2013 and adopted later that year on 10 October 2013 at a Diplomatic Conference (Conference of Plenipotentiaries), held in Kumamoto, Japan.
Nigeria signed the Convention in October 2013 and ratified in on February 1, 2018 becoming the 88th Party to the Convention.
Similarly, Nigeria was the first country in the world to complete the Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA) report in 2017, which shows that the country is ready to domesticate the convention.
Executive Director, SRADev Nigeria, Dr. Leslie Adogame who is also the National Chairman of the civil society group on phase out of dental amalgam campaign at a stakeholders’ meeting in Benin, Edo State on Saturday disclosed that the Abuja National Summit will enable the country to move into the implementation stage of the convention.
Adogame stressed that the summit will allow stakeholders to map out National Action Plan for phase down of Dental Amalgam; Ending Dental Amalgam Use in Children and pregnant mothers by end of 2018 and National Policy Statement for the phase down of dental amalgam use in the country.
President, World Alliance for Mercury Free-Dentistry, Charlie Brown, an American, said Nigeria as demonstrated commitment in the campaign to make dental amalgam history.
Brown, who is championing the campaign to make dental amalgam history across the world who is in Nigeria for the fourth time, told ecogreennews that Nigeria, as the giant of Africa cannot be ignore in addressing the challenge.
He went further, “Once Nigeria sneeze, Africa catches cold.” He commended the government and the civil society group leading the campaign in Nigeria.
The Convention draws attention to a global and ubiquitous metal that, while naturally occurring, has broad uses in everyday objects and is released to the atmosphere, soil and water from a variety of sources. Controlling the anthropogenic releases of mercury throughout its lifecycle has been a key factor in shaping the obligations under the Convention.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole will chair the occasion while the Minister of State for the Environment, Jibril Ibrahim will co-chair the event theme, “Towards mercury-free dentistry in Nigeria.”