21 September 2020 | Abuja – NCDC and NIMR launch COVID-19 Household Seroprevalence Surveys in Selected States of Nigeria
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and their partners are conducting household surveys in four states in Nigeria to better understand the burden of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria. These seroprevalence surveys, which will be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos States will provide the best evidence yet, on the extent of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria.
Seroprevalence surveys are used to identify the occurrence of disease in a population by estimating the presence of antibodies in individuals who have had the disease. This is done by testing blood samples in randomly selected households in selected states. For Nigeria’s COVID-19 seroprevalence survey, household members will answer a brief questionnaire, be tested for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, as well as for acute COVID-19, if they consent. In addition to this, study participants will also have a rapid malaria test and receive treatment if the test is positive.
This is the first set of household surveys to be conducted for COVID-19 in Nigeria and as part of ongoing public health research activities. The surveys will increase the current understanding of COVID-19 transmission patterns, the burden of infection in the population, and the age groups most affected. This information will help inform COVID-19 response decisions by the Government of Nigeria and partners as part of measures towards ending the pandemic.
The surveys will also estimate the proportion of people who have COVID-19 but are not showing any symptoms i.e. asymptomatic. Through this, the country can identify risk factors for infection and measure the transmission of COVID-19 within households. By administering rapid malaria tests, the surveys will also assess malaria infections and their possible relationship to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The results from these surveys will inform the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) and the University College London (supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) are supporting NCDC and NIMR in implementing these surveys. The US CDC’s implementing partner, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), will also support the State Ministries of Health with implementation. The surveys will be conducted between September and November, and preliminary results are expected to be released by December 2020.
The Federal Ministry of Health, its agencies NCDC and NIMR as well as the PTF-COVID-19 remain committed to strengthening Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 and controlling the outbreak.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control 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. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission for the NCDC (2017-2021) is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response activities, using a One Health approach, guided by research and led by a skilled workforce’.
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The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research is the apex medical research institute in the country with a vision to be an institution of excellence in basic, applied and operational research for the promotion of national health and development. It is mandated by National Science and Technology Act of 1977 to conduct research into diseases of public health importance, develop human and infrastructural capacities for clinical and biomedical research and strengthen structures for dissemination of research findings while providing enabling environment and facilities for health research and training in cooperation with ministries of health, and in collaboration with universities, allied institutions and organized private sectors nationally and internationally.
Phone number: +2349092133886| Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @nimrnigeria | Facebook: @ NIMRNigeria | Instagram: @nimrnigeria
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu Professor Babatunde Salako
Director General, NCDC Director General, NIMR