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U.S., Nigeria collaborate to strengthen health security, respond to disease threats

By Chukwuma Muanya
20 September 2022   |   4:04 am
As part of efforts to strengthen health security and respond to disease threats, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has partnered with the United States to train epidemiologists.

[FILES] NCDC team. Photo; TWITTER/CHIKWEI

As part of efforts to strengthen health security and respond to disease threats, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has partnered with the United States to train epidemiologists.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) and the NCDC collaborated to deliver a two-week intermediate-level professional certification training for epidemiologists.

The Public Health Emergency Management Professional Certification Programme (PHEM PC) graduated its second cohort of 25 state epidemiologists at a ceremony on Friday.

Speaking at the graduation, U.S. Consul General, Will Stevens, underscored the U.S. government’s commitment and commitment and prioritisation of Public Health Emergency Management as Nigeria works towards achieving Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) 2024 targets and meeting International Health Regulations (IHR) requirements by strengthening workforce development, disease surveillance, emergency response, and laboratory capacity.

Stevens highlighted the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Nigeria to strengthen health security and respond to disease threats. “The U.S. Government is committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of Nigerians through initiatives and training that increase disease prevention, detection, and response,” he added.

In her remarks, US-CDC Nigeria Country Director, Dr. Mary Boyd, said, “the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates now more than ever the importance of ensuring public health systems can adequately detect, prevent, respond to, and recover from health emergencies, particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities.”

The PHEM PC Programme is part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to support pandemic preparedness in Nigeria and globally. It provides emergency managers, incident managers, state epidemiologists, first responders, watch managers, and other public health experts with specialized training in public health emergency management and operations and other critical preparedness and response skills, including crisis and emergency risk communication.

CDC Nigeria is the country office of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with a vision of public health excellence for healthy Nigerians. The office supports the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), its department, agencies, state ministries of health, and several key partners in developing, implementing, and evaluating disease response efforts and programmes that contribute to strengthened public health infrastructure in Nigeria.