Mark Durkan has supported a call for the government to commit to a new public awareness campaign aimed at tackling sepsis.
Also referred to as blood poisoning, sepsis is a life-threatening and relatively unknown condition which claims the lives of 44,000 people - including 1,000 children - every year.
He said: “While sepsis is a condition which may not hit the headlines, it is deadly. If timely interventions proposed by the UK Sepsis Trust were adopted across the NHS it could save up to 12,500 lives a year and the NHS money. I was keen to show my support for efforts to tackle this disease and save lives. I want to see sepsis viewed as a medical emergency and have a higher profile among medical professionals and the public.”