The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is the country’s national public health institute, with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies. The first formal step to establish the NCDC took place in 2011 when some departments in the Ministry of Health, including the Epidemiology Division, the Avian Influenza Project and its laboratories; and the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP) were moved to form the nucleus of the agency. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The mission for the NCDC (2017-2021) is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response activities, using a one health approach, guided by research and led by a skilled workforce’.
The core functions of NCDC include:
• Prevent, detect, and control diseases of public health importance.
• Coordinate surveillance systems to collect, analyse and interpret data on diseases of public health importance.
• Support States in responding to small outbreaks, and lead the response to large disease outbreaks.
• Develop and maintain a network of reference and specialized laboratories.
• Conduct, collate, synthesize and disseminate public health research to inform policy.
• Lead Nigeria’s engagement with the international community on diseases of public health relevance
ORGANISATION OF THE NIGERIA CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL
The NCDC has 213 staff, working across its locations at the Headquarters and the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, as well as the Central Public Health Laboratory in Lagos State which is a campus of the National Reference Laboratory.
Led by a Director General, the members of staff work in six Directorates, four of which are Technical Directorates. These include:
1. Public Health Laboratory Services
2. Prevention Programmes and Knowledge Management
3. Emergency Preparedness and Response
4. Surveillance and Epidemiology
5. Finance and Accounts
6. Administration and Human Resources