By Iyemah David
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), has said that its vision is to build the confidence of Nigerians and the global community to lead the preparedness, detection and response to public health emergencies in the country.
The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at the agency’s end-term review meeting.
He said that the NCDC has continued to work to protect the health of citizens through information, inclusion and timely response to public health concerns.
According to the agency, one of the strategic approaches to achieving the mandate of the NCDC is to lead the preparedness, detection, and response to public health emergencies.
The NCDC is conducting an end-term review of its 5-Year Strategic Plan (2017-2022), designed to assess the implementation of the strategy and achievements, as well as draw lessons from the implementation process.
Dr Adetifa said that a performance management structure was instituted to oversee and coordinate the execution of the multiple initiatives, as well as evaluate the progress made towards achieving the strategic goals.
He said that the NCDC is the country’s national public health institute with the mandate to provide a healthier and safer Nigeria through the prevention and control of diseases of public health importance.
“It is focused on protecting the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response activities, using a one-health approach, guided by research and led by a skilled workforce,” he explained.
He, however, said that the findings and outcomes of the end-term evaluation of the current NCDC Strategy would inform the development of a new NCDC Strategy that both align with its mandate and drive the implementation of the agency’s vision and mission for the next five years.
Dr Pricilla Ibekwe, Head of the Special Projects and Partnerships Unit at NCDC, said that health security aims to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.
Ibekwe said that as a demonstration of his commitment to national health security, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, signed the Bill for an Act to establish NCDC, which she described as one of the milestones for the agency in the last five years.
“Since its establishment in 2011, NCDC has demonstrated its capacity to protect the health of Nigerians by delivering on its core functions of preparedness, detection and response to outbreaks of infectious diseases,” she explained.
She said that the Act which established the agency as a full-fledged parastatal, also ensured that its valuable work is sustained and supported.
Meanwhile, Dr Ebere Okereke, Senior Technical Adviser, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), said the end-term review would improve the country’s detection to mitigate the impact of global disease outbreaks and other public health events.
Okereke said that it would also sustain and strengthen partnerships for global health security.