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    NCDC Seeks Collaboration with States to End Epidemics

    The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reaffirmed its commitment to work with state governments to end epidemics in the country.

    Dr Oyeladun Okunromade, deputy director of NCDC and responsible for international health regulation, made the pledge on Tuesday, when a four-day state health security assessment opened in Kano. She said the Nigerian government, through the NCDC, will partner with states for the prevention, preparedness, detection, response and control of infectious disease outbreaks in Nigeria, which are recorded every year. “In 2019 alone, 760 LGAs across 36 states and the FCT reported 45,614 cases of disease with potential for epidemics. 

    “Unless controlled early, epidemics are associated with high numbers of deaths, social disruption, as well as financial and economic damage to individuals and communities,” she said. Okunromade said the current COVID-19 pandemic has proven, more than ever, the need for state-level public health emergency preparedness, to ensure local detection and action to reduce the impact, epidemics. She said subnational health security assessments aimed to provide states with baseline data to inform planning processes on preventing epidemics and other threats to public health. 

    “The evaluation is a short form of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) led by WHO. The exercise is a voluntary and collaborative assessment of a country’s ability to detect, rapidly stop and prevent epidemics and other public health threats, ”Okunromade added. 

    The deputy director said the objective of the assessment was to identify opportunities to improve preparedness and response, using field data at the level of each state. She added that this would also identify the most critical gaps for health security within the state – using a multisectoral approach, and provide states with a capacity assessment to use for prioritization, advocacy, mobilization. resources and alignment of partners. 

    “It is not a question of if, but when another epidemic will threaten the safety and security of our citizens. 

    We must be prepared to protect all Nigerians from future epidemic threats, no matter where they live. “The Nigeria Center for Disease Control has demonstrated its ability as a leading public health institution in Nigeria and in our sub-region, to coordinate health security among all sectors in Nigeria, to take action,” said she added.

    Earlier, Dr Bashir Muhammad, the state epidemiologist, said the program was a piloted internal joint external evaluation in Kebbi, Kano and Enugu states.

    Bashir, who is also deputy director of the public health and incidence official’s emergency operations center, noted that Kano was the first state to domesticate the national health security action plan in 2020.

    He praised the state governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, for his efforts in providing effective healthcare, while also acknowledging the state’s COVID-19 response team, the COVID task force. -19 and the NCDC for their efforts in managing the first and second waves of the pandemic in the state. NAN

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