20 October 2023 | Abuja - Honourable Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare and Director General, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC) Visit to the NCDC Headquarters
On the 18th October 2023, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) hosted the Honourable Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare (H-CMH&SW), Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, and the Director General of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Dr. Jean Kaseya. This visit coincided with the two-year milestone of the resumption of Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa as Director General, of NCDC.
During the courtesy visit, discussions were held around improving coordination for pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response through better domestic financing, strengthened cross-border surveillance systems, and utilisation of digital technology, guided by a One Health approach.
During the visit, the NCDC DG in his presentation demonstrated the alignment of the mission and vision of the NCDC, and work to strengthen health security with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda for Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Health’s four-point agenda which includes national health security. Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa highlighted the contribution of the Africa CDC in building resilient public health systems across the continent through capacity-building opportunities. He especially recognised the institution’s critical support to Nigeria through capacity building for epidemiologists, genomic sequencing, local recruitment of volunteers for contract tracing, the supply of consumables, and deployment of a rapid response team during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the visit, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate commended the NCDC’s steadfastness in protecting the health of Nigerians despite the challenges of frequent and concurrent outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. He also highlighted the importance of stronger collaboration between countries and all stakeholders in ensuring global health security. He commended the NCDC’s collaboration with other agencies for One Health, in the National Diphtheria Emergency Task Team and the recently inaugurated Lassa Fever Vaccine Taskforce. He concluded by expressing commitment to the Africa CDC’s agenda to ensure that Africa is a significant contributor to improving global health security and assured the administration’s openness to strengthening partnerships with Africa CDC, and such institutions, and partners.
In his response, Dr Jean Kaseya, applauded the agency's work, highlighting that NCDC’s strategy serves as a model for other African countries. He outlined the Africa CDC's new public health agenda which he coined as the 4 Cs of health security: Cash (domestic financing and resource mobilisation), Commodities (manufacture of vaccines, other commodities), Communities (Member States), and Connectivity (digitisation). In his closing remarks, he pledged continued support to Nigeria and the NCDC in the effort to prevent, detect and respond to diseases as they do not have borders.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) 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 of 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 a skilled workforce.
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Dr Ifedayo Adetifa
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.