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Following Nigeria’s giant stride in containing epidemics like Ebola and Lassa Fever in recent times, the African Union (AU) has recently given the country the clearance to become African’s regional hub for disease surveillance and Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
Nigeria’s National Centre for Disease Control will act as the collaborating centre, which makes Nigeria the hub of research and disease surveillance in West Africa and a regional collaborating centre for Africa.
This came on the heels of the findings of the African Union on site assessment of Nigeria’s CDC which was conducted by a team of experts last week.
At a briefing on the outcome of its findings in Abuja, the head of the delegation and Director of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC), Ambassador Olawale Maiyegun, explained that there were still some gaps that ought to be filled.
The Nigerian-born AU envoy told journalists that the problem with existing gaps is that it is not clear how the strong political commitment demonstrated by the federal government can be sustained. “We want to see it being translated into sustained funding for the Nigerian CDC”.
“We are satisfied and we believe that Nigeria, while rectifying the gaps can fully take up this responsibility. It is a triple responsibility being a Nigeria CDC, a regional CDC and as well as a collaborating centre for the Africa CDC.”
Maiyegun maintained that his team during its fact finding tour, discovered a very strong commitment on the part of the federal government of Nigeria and a legal framework which is being put together.
He was optimistic that such efforts displayed by the government “will be made on the legal framework to reflect the regional dimension of the Nigeria CDC, which henceforth will not only be the Nigeria CDC but a regional one for West Africa and a regional collaborating centre for the Africa CDC.”
National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of NCDC, Prof. Abdulrahman Nasidi, was of the view that the elevation of the centre to a regional hub for research and disease surveillance will strengthen the capacity of the agency for optimum results
Nasidi stressed that with the new responsibility, the NCDC will now be ready to carry out elaborate research in disease surveillance, prevention and control.

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