New Center for Disease Control

Thanks to support from IANPHI, US CDC, and other partners, Nigeria’s newly established Center for Disease Control (NCDC), can now mount a more robust effort to protect public health. As the focal point for coordination of public health functions within the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC is tasked with protecting public health through improved disease prevention and control, more effective emergency preparedness and response (such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak), and strengthened workforce capacity and institutional linkages.

The first initiatives to establish NCDC began in 1984. In 2010, the creation and strengthening of NCDC became a high priority for the President of Nigeria and the Minister of Health. IANPHI provided the Nigerian institute with a jump start in 2013 by facilitating a strategic planning workshop in Abuja, at the request of the Minister of Health. The resulting 5-year plan, to be implemented in phases, forms a roadmap for strengthening multisectoral coordination and planning for public health services and outbreak preparedness and response.

To improve health in Nigeria through the provision of comprehensive and integrated disease surveillance, prevention, and control interventions, health emergency response, capacity building and research for sustainable development.

As a new public health agency, functional laboratories are a priority for NCDC. Generous contributions from partners such as US CDC and World Bank are funding new facilities and equipment, but these are not enough to fully operationalize NCDC’s lab network and allow the institute to fulfill the leadership role assigned to it.

To address this urgent need, IANPHI provided additional support to help NCDC take a leadership role in laboratory services and emergency preparedness and response. This includes filling critical gaps in central and zonal laboratories so that they can provide needed services and support to states, and training state epidemiologists to enhance disease detection and reporting.

In Nigeria, these efforts are already paying off. In January 2014, NCDC had the lead in the emergency response to a cholera outbreak in Kano state – coordinating and directing efforts to combat and control the spread of disease.