Nigeria needs peacetime health system to tackle next pandemic – NCDC
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), has said that the country needs a peacetime health system to be better prepared for the next pandemic.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said this on Monday in Abuja, at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) and the International Research Center of Excellence (IRCE) Scientific Seminar, with the theme “Addressing Local Health Challenges through Research and Partnerships”.
Adetifa said there was a need for the development of libraries for rapid diagnostic, therapeutic and vaccine development in anticipation of Disease X.
He said that there was also a need for the country to intensify its approaches to health promotion, disease prevention and emergency response.
The NCDC DG said that a strengthened laboratory diagnosis capacity and coordinated surveillance can not be overwhelmed.
According to him, data, data and more data, freely shared will allow for better decision-making across the country.
Adetifa, however, said that the country’s key lesson from the COVID-19 Pandemic, was the role of political will and specific strategies.
He said that reliable data was critical for informed decision-making, while Strategic collaboration and partnership were essential.
The Director General, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Babatunde Salako, also stressed the need for adequate funding for research in the country.
Salako said that funding must be provided to research the area of disease surveillance, prevention, detection and treatment in the country.
While commanding IHVN for its continuous efforts towards research in the country, he said that NIMR would continue to support its efforts in the country.
Prof. Alash’le Abimiku, Executive Director of the International Research Center of Excellence, IHVN, said that IRCE possessed a clear vision and mission which align with IHVN’s.
Abimiku said that IRCW provides leadership in research in Nigeria and West Africa through globally standardized expertise, transparency and accountability, positively shifting the culture of research in Africa.
She said that IRCE has the following main objectives — to fulfil its goal of creating an enabling environment for creative thinking and innovation in science to address Nigeria’s and global health priorities.
She said it provides a common world-class platform for the implementation of research and clinical trials at international standards as part of global networks.
“Fosters collaborations and synergism between Nigeria’s finest researchers and their counterparts at international research institutions and universities.
“Provides a safety net that protects IHVN and its collaborators from liability by proactively ensuring that research conducted at IHVN is under the highest scientific and ethical standards.
“Provides opportunities for young or early to mid-career Nigerian researchers to develop and execute research projects being mentored by more experienced investigators at IHVN, Nigerian Universities, the diaspora, and international research institutions and universities,” she explained.
She said it would also establish a training hub that facilitates individual and institutional learning through training and capacity-building courses and programmes that would provide a platform for researchers to gain the requisite skills necessary to excel in research and long-term career goal formation and early years.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that for over 19 years since IHVN’s establishment as a non-profit and non-governmental organization, it has addressed the HIV/AIDS crisis in Nigeria by developing infrastructure for treatment, care, prevention, and support for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
IHVN has, over time, expanded its services to cover other communicable and non-communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cancer, COVID-19, and other emerging diseases.