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Reducing carbon emissions in Nigeria

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By Abraham Adekunle

Net zero is possible with their invaluable contributions–SOFPON.

The Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) has highlighted the crucial role that functional Primary Health Centres (PHCs) can play in reducing Nigeria’s carbon Emissions. The healthcare sector contributes significantly to global carbon emissions, accounting for 4.4% of the total, and primary care can play a vital role in mitigating this impact. Early disease detection and lifestyle changes provided by primary care can reduce the need for resource-intensive medical interventions, subsequently cutting emissions.

Nigeria is one of the largest emitters of Greenhouse gases in Africa, with a significant portion of its emissions coming from the energy and transportation sectors. The country’s reliance on fossil fuels and combustion engines contributes to high levels of carbon output, which have severe consequences for human health and the environment. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air Pollution, largely caused by Fossil Fuel combustion, is responsible for over 100,000 deaths annually in Nigeria.

Role of PHCs in achieving clean energy sources.

To combat the environmental challenges, Nigeria has set a target of achieving Net Zero Emissions by 2060. This ambitious goal requires significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, including healthcare. The sector can play a vital role in achieving this target by transitioning to clean energy sources, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable practices. Functional PHCs can play a crucial role in reducing Nigeria’s carbon emissions by providing early disease detection and lifestyle changes. By detecting diseases early, patients can avoid resource-intensive medical interventions, which subsequently reduce emissions.

Additionally, PHCs can promote sustainable practices such as reducing non-biodegradable waste pollution, promoting reforestation, and adopting paperless initiatives. Transitioning to clean energy sources like solar and wind power is essential to reducing Nigeria’s carbon emissions. The government can incentivize the use of clean energy by making it affordable and accessible to the populace. Additionally, discouraging the use of fossil fuels and combustion engines can significantly reduce emissions. Solar power, in particular, has the potential to revolutionize Nigeria’s energy sector, providing clean and Sustainable Energy to power homes, businesses, and healthcare facilities.

Community engagement, sustainable practices and govt support.

Sustainable practices such as reducing non-biodegradable waste pollution, promoting reforestation, and adopting paperless initiatives can also contribute to reducing Nigeria’s carbon output. The healthcare sector can lead by example by adopting these practices and promoting them to the wider community. For instance, healthcare facilities can reduce waste by implementing Recycling programs and using Eco-friendly products. Additionally, promoting reforestation can help to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reducing the impact of Climate Change. Community Engagement and Education are critical to promoting sustainable practices and reducing emissions.

Again, the healthcare sector can engage with local communities to raise awareness about the importance of reducing carbon output and promote sustainable practices. This can be achieved through public outreach programs, community events, and health education initiatives. Government support is essential to achieving net zero emissions in Nigeria. The government can provide incentives for healthcare facilities to transition to clean energy sources and adopt sustainable practices. Additionally, the government can implement policies and regulations to reduce carbon emissions, such as carbon pricing and clean energy targets.

Related Article: WHO, PSHAN partner to revamp PHC in Nigeria

In all, functional PHCs are vital to reducing Nigeria’s carbon emissions and achieving net zero. The healthcare sector can play a crucial role in mitigating the environmental impact of healthcare by transitioning to clean energy sources, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable practices. The government, Healthcare Providers, and the community must work together to achieve this ambitious goal and ensure a healthy planet and healthy people. By prioritizing sustainable practices and reducing carbon emissions, Nigeria can create a healthier and more sustainable future for generations to come.


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