The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the proactive steps by Africa CDC to National Public Health Institutes in strengthening the response capacity of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is commendable.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director General (NCDC) made the commendation while chatting with the press agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Ihekweazut said that when the primary COVID-19 case was confirmed in China, AfricaCDC and World Health Organisation Africa Region (WHOAFRO) were proactive in preparing countries in Africa.
He said that the agencies provided training to laboratory, risk communication, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), and case force in Nigeria.
The director-general stated that the personnel who were trained were tasked with the responsibility of coaching more colleagues in Nigeria.
He noted that this enabled better preparedness when the primary case of COVID-19 was detected within the country, as laboratory scientists within the five Molecular Laboratories had been trained and risk communications had begun.
Ihekweazu said that the AfricaCDC has supported the deployment of additional human resource across states within the country.
“We’ve also received critical laboratory and medical supplies from AU through the AfricaCDC to strengthen the response capacity in African countries.
“We’re grateful for the coordination and leadership provided by AfricaCDC including regular learning sessions among National Public Health Institutes in Africa, as we answer COVID19 within the country,” he said.
NAN recalls that on Feb. 27, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, confirmed a case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos.
The patient, a male Italian, travelled from Milan to Lagos on Feb. 25.
He was confirmed positive to the viral infection at the Virology Laboratory, Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Africa CDC deployed one epidemiologist to Nigeria to support assessment and response to the outbreak, and has shipped 1,000 COVID-19 laboratory test kits to the country.
This is additionally to check kits provided to representatives of Nigeria who attended the training on COVID-19 laboratory diagnostics organised by Africa CDC for 16 African countries in Dakar, Senegal, three weeks after the case was announced, and other test kits supplied by the WHO.
NAN also reports that Africa CDC strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions.
It also partners to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, supported data-driven interventions and programmes.