By Asmau Ahmad
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has called for collaboration to enhance resilience against emergence of new disease outbreaks in the country.
Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu made the call in Lagos at the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPHARM) and Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE)’ Media Week programme onCOVID-19.
The one week event had a theme; ‘COVID-19: Facts, Myths and Way Forward.
He said it was imperative to boost strong collaboration that would enhance national and global health security.
“The world is changing and sometimes not changing in obvious ways. There’s increasing migration to cities, the climate is changing and increase in travels. “Our public health systems are more fragile than ever before, there is no doubt about it, that the whole public health order of 20 years to 40 years ago is no longer appropriate for today.
“Also, the opportunities for interventions have changed a lot. We have to work across professions, bring in social sciences, understand our environment, understand medicine, and think about how to communicate all these to an increasing sceptical public,” Ihekweazu said.
The NCDC director-general emphasised the importance of fusing knowledge and expertise to boost preparedness, response and recovery.
He said the government could not do it alone, adding that public-private sector partnerships such as the CACOVID and the United Nations Basket Fund were critical to enhance response and reduce infectious diseases threats.
Dr Ihekweazu said that NCDC would work with NAPHARM and NGE in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) surveillance and response; data and information collaboration, and support with risk communication and sensitisation.
Also, the National President, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, said that the collaboration between the Academy and the Guild sought to guide the country toward nurturing and management of scientific knowledge for the benefit of people.
Adelusi-Adeluyi said that it was important to complement efforts by government and other organisations to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens.
He urged government to prioritise scientific research, as well as pharmaceutical, medical and scientific education, saying that the country’s scientific research was in a poor state.
According to him, there is a need to enhance the capacity of the country to handle future epidemics, saying that the programme would document lessons that the country should learn from the pandemic.