25 June 2021 | Abuja – Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge: NCDC Emerges One of Seven Winners to Strengthen Data Use in Response to COVID-19
Today, the 25th of June 2021, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in collaboration with the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL) and partners convened the inception meeting of the Data4COVID19 Challenge in Nigeria.
The Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge is a data challenge hosted by I’Agence francaise de development (AFD), Expertise France, and The GovLab; as part of efforts to better understand and respond to the vast range of issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences across Africa through innovative use of data.
In response to the call for innovative proposals made between December 15, 2020, and February 5, 2021; 83 proposals covering 22 countries were received out of which Nigeria represented by the NCDC in partnership with CMUL emerged as one of seven awardees.
A critical aspect of the response to public health emergencies is the need to provide accurate data and real time information to decision makers and the public. This has been evident in Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where data is used to understand transmission patterns of virus, anticipate demand on our health services, manage the national supply chain as well as inform risk communication strategies.
In Nigeria, the Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge is aimed at analysing existing data on COVID-19 to understand the social, economic, and political factors that influence knowledge and perception of COVID-19 among Nigerians. The project will also inform how these knowledge and perception shape population behavior, policy and response to COVID-19 safety protocols. The Nigerian project is titled “Understanding facilitators and barriers to compliance with non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 preventive measures in Nigeria”.
The aim of the meeting is to introduce the project to critical stakeholders and give them the opportunity to share their insights and concerns about COVID-19 that can be addressed through the project’s objectives.
In addition to providing African researchers with resources to implement data driven projects in response to COVID-19, the project presents an opportunity to better understand the unexpectedly moderate COVID-19 situation in the region and share lessons to strengthen global pandemic preparedness.
Our focus as Nigeria’s National Public Health Institute is to sustain the national response to COVID-19 to keep our cases low. We remain committed to building on lessons learnt to move beyond being recipients to active participants in the science and innovation of global preparedness and response to infectious disease threats.
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 public health emergencies. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission for the NCDC is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response, using a One Health approach, guided by research and led by skilled workforce’.
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Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control