NCDC To Strengthen National Health Security At Grassroots

Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa has said that, Nigeria would in the next five years focus on strengthening response to public health threats and emergencies at grassroots, subnational levels.

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Adetifa disclosed this on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at the launch of the NCDC Five Year Strategy and Implementation Plan held in Abuja.

The NCDC Five Year Strategy and Implementation Plan which would last from 2023 to 2027 is a manifesto of the agency’s stand against emerging public health threats and evolving challenges. It identified 7 goals, 41 objectives, and 225 activities to achieve its aim.

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Speaking on lessons learnt from the first National Strategic Plan 2017-2023, the NCDC Boss said, “using NCDC’s first strategic plan as a baseline, we are now able to build on our strengths, further close identified gaps, and embrace innovation to achieve our overarching goals and objectives.

“As we are only as strong as our weakest link, it is essential to intervene to strengthen subnational health security in partnership with state and local government-level actors. It is an alignment to this strategic direction that we created a Subnational Support Department to bring our activities closer to and ensure better coordination at the subnational level”.

He further said, “this plan reflects our commitment to the application of digital technologies and tools to improve and transform the delivery of our essential public health functions. This is in concordance with the presidential and ministerial agenda for health and this is why the 2023-2027 strategy included a digital transformation agenda complemented by aspirations for high-quality crosscutting public health informatics”.

Dr. Adetifa informed that going forward, the agency would leverage the existing structures on ground to achieve its aim by cascading health security information to primary healthcare centers in different wards across the country.

A reoccurring issue of focus at the meeting was the need to scale up funding for healthcare in the country from development partners, the Private sector, and individual

Another challenge the DG noted was the need to have a well-trained skilled workforce to occupy positions made vacant by the massive brain drain in the health sector.

On her part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Banigo Ipalibo reiterated the government’s commitment to improve the country’s health and urged Security partners to engage legislators so they play their role as custodians of citizens’ health.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) is the country’s national public health institute with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection, and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.

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