COVID-19: How We’re Ensuring National Health Security– NCDC
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed that it has been able to contain and curtail the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure national health security since its outbreak in the country on 27 February, 2020.
It noted that since the first of the virus in the country, a multi-partner incident management system hosted at the NCDC has been leading national response.
The Centre added that it has been working closely with all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to ensure national health security.
The NCDC made the disclosure in its Weekly Epidemiological Report for Week 29, titled “Controlling The Third Wave: Learning From Nigeria’s Response To COVID-19 Outbreaks.”
It stated in the report that, given the novelty and epi-dynamics of the virus, the national response plan has been continuously revised through different stages of the outbreak.
“The level of control during the first and second waves of the outbreak can be attributed to the instituted public health measures. With the ongoing third wave, it is critical to assess the national readiness for outbreak control.
“In line with this, the national team from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), recently conducted an Intra Action Review (IARs) with key stakeholders across the six regions in Nigeria,” the report stated.
The NCDC further disclosed that the sub-national stakeholders, included incident managers, atate epidemiologists, and leads of risk communication, surveillance, laboratory and research pillars from each of the 36 states and the FCT.
It stated that the objectives of the regional IARs were to: “Provide an opportunity for national and subnational stakeholders to share experience and collectively analyse ongoing in-country COVID-19 response;
“Facilitate consensus building and lesson learning amongst the response stakeholders to improve the current response by preventing recurrent errors and reproducing success; and document and apply lessons learning for health systems strengthening.”
NCDC further said the regional IAR specifically provided a unique opportunity to provide updates on overall response activities, as regards what went well, what went less well, why and what can be done to improve current response.
It stated that the 36 states were also able to update their incident action plans, through IAR, to inform public health measures for the control of the ongoing third wave.
“Subsequently, the national COVID-19 response team convened a national IAR meeting to discuss findings from the states and update the national COVID-19 plan.
“Through interactive sessions, the IAR provided an opportunity to review outbreak response around key 10 technical-coordination, surveillance, laboratory, risk communication, point of entry, logistics, baccine, case management, infection prevention and control and research pillars.
“An important outcome of the meeting was the joint revision of COVID-19 response plan, with clear roles for every stakeholder involved in outbreak preparedness and response,” the report stated.
According to the report, the critical next step is to finalise the workplan and work with the states and WHO to mobilise resources for the implementation of the revised plan for the control of the third wave.
“The NCDC remains committed to working with state epidemiologists, state Ministries of Health, partners and other relevant stakeholders towards improving Nigeria’s preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks.
“More importantly, states are enjoined to improve ownership and ensure implementation of the revised workplan,” the report added.
The NCDC further listed the actions taken to date on COVID-19 to include a National COVID-19 multi-partner Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to coordinate response activities across states;
Ongoing intensivist training in South-South and South-East geopolitical zones; concluded assessment of oxygen capacity at treatment/isolation centres, using the assessment checklist; and dissemination of COVID-19 articles on current variants and disease trends to health workers.
NCDC, according to the weekly report, also planned to deploy antigen-based rapid diagnostic test (Ag-RDT) kits and sample collection materials to the selected states;
Intensify genomic surveillance activities; and finalise Local Government Area (LGA) and State Transmission Categorisation as a way to further ensure safety against the pandemic.