The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, says that collaborations with stakeholders and other countries help build resilient health systems and improve data sharing for disease detection as well as pandemic preparedness.
He stated this Sunday during a learning visit by the delegates of the United States Congress to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Abuja.
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The NRL in Abuja is NCDC’s focal laboratory providing high-quality public health laboratory services, coordinating laboratory-based surveillance and providing oversight to state public health laboratories in Nigeria.
Speaking while showing the operations of the NRL to the delegates, Dr Adetifa said this was critical to the work of the organization as it continued to strengthen its capacity and share experiences to inform key global health decisions.
He said the U.S Government, through the US-CDC and implementing partners, had supported the NCDC with laboratory equipment, consumables, reagents and technical support.
He said: “It is important they understand on visits such as this where US government investments are going, what they are achieving and what other area they may require support.”
Brian Massa, Director, Global Health Advocacy of the UN Foundation, said it was a great partnership between Nigeria and the United States government, adding that the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) had provided very generous support and collaboration with the NCDC.
Dr Farah Husain, Programme Director, US-CDC, said the visit would further develop the roster of staffers working on global health policy and also highlight the importance of bilateral investments for health security strengthening and pandemic preparedness in Nigeria.
The delegates were led round the NRL facility by the NCDC team to understand its operations and functionality, observe the laboratory diagnostic facilities. They also discussed the country’s response to the current Monkeypox outbreak.