Home News Ex-NCDC DG Adetifa highlights significant achievements in public health

Ex-NCDC DG Adetifa highlights significant achievements in public health

by Haruna Gimba

By Iyemah David

The immediate past Director General (DG) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said he made significant strides with a wide range of achievements that have strengthened the country’s public health infrastructure and response capabilities.

Dr Adetifa stated this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Monday shortly after he handed over to his successor, Dr Olajide Idris. 

He assumed the role of the second Director-General of the NCDC on October 18, following Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu’s recruitment by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Adetifa said that under his leadership, the NCDC implemented numerous initiatives and projects aimed at enhancing disease surveillance, outbreak response, laboratory capacity, and overall public health management.

“One of the major achievements during my tenure is the launch of the NCDC 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, which outlines the agency’s priorities and objectives for the coming years.

“This strategic plan serves as a roadmap for guiding the NCDC’s efforts in preventing, detecting, and responding to public health threats in Nigeria,” he said.

“I have overseen the successful implementation of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) in 2023, which yielded a significant improvement in Nigeria’s preparedness and response capabilities compared to previous years.

“The JEE assessment highlighted areas of strength and areas for improvement, providing valuable insights for enhancing the country’s health security,” he added.

He said that under his leadership, the NCDC also commissioned the first Zonal Referral Laboratory in Ekiti State and the CPHL Biorepository, which have bolstered the country’s diagnostic capacity and laboratory infrastructure.

“These facilities play a crucial role in the early detection and containment of infectious diseases, ensuring a rapid and effective response to outbreaks,” he said.

He said he has prioritised capacity building and training opportunities for NCDC staff, including collaborations with international partners such as KOICA, Koffi Annan Fellowship, JICA postgraduate, Africa CDC fellowship, and WHO-GOARN fellowship.

“These initiatives have enhanced the skills and expertise of NCDC personnel, enabling them to effectively respond to public health emergencies and strengthen the country’s health security,” he said.

In response to disease outbreaks, Adetifa said he has led the coordination of the largest-ever Diphtheria, Lassa Fever, and Mpox outbreaks in the country, demonstrating the NCDC’s ability to effectively manage and control infectious diseases.

“The agency’s swift and coordinated response to these outbreaks has helped to prevent further spread and protect public health,” he said.

Furthermore, he said he spearheaded the development of key policies and strategic plans, including the NCDC communications policy, the National Public Health Workforce Strategic Plan, and the National Strategic Plan of Action for Cholera Control.

“These initiatives provide a framework for guiding the NCDC’s activities and priorities in public health management and disease control,” he said.

In collaboration with partners such as the World Bank and the Global Fund, he said he secured funding and support for various projects and initiatives aimed at strengthening Nigeria’s public health system.

“These partnerships have enabled the NCDC to expand its surveillance and response capabilities, enhance laboratory services, and improve disease control efforts across the country,” he said.

According to him, my leadership and vision have positioned the NCDC as a key player in disease control and prevention in the nation, ensuring the country’s readiness to respond to public health threats and emergencies,” Adetifa said.

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