NCDC and partners conduct simulation exercise for Ebola Virus Disease
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to play her public health role as the National focal point for the implementation of International Health Regulations (IHR) in Nigeria. In line with the IIHR Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and our organisational strategic plan, the NCDC works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health England (PHE) and Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL) and other partners to strengthen Nigeria’s emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR) through regular simulation exercises (SimEx). With this, we have continued to fill the gaps identified following the first and mid-term Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of IHR capacities conducted in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
In line with the above, the NCDC in collaboration with the WHO, PHE and RSTL from 19th – 21st July, 2021 organised a SimEx to test the country’s level of preparedness in case there is an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). This is aside other exercises that are routinely conducted for other infectious diseases such as cholera, measles, yellow fever etc.
The main objective of the exercise was to test and evaluate the five states with international airports (FCT, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, and Rivers) in the following areas:
1. Information sharing plans, systems, and SOPs between points of entry (POEs), Laboratories, States, and the National EVD Working Group
2. Protocols and policies at points of entry to triage and escalate suspected cases of EVD at international airports
3. Sample management SOPs and plans
4. Capabilities and capacities of the EVD working group, POEs and laboratories to coordinate and collaborate with other responders to EVD
Aside the facilitators from NCDC Incident Command Centre, WHO, PHE, RSTL and our One Health partners in the Animal Health and Environmental Health sector, State Epidemiologists from the afore-mentioned states also participated.
At the end of the exercise, the participants provided feedback which revealed strengths in efficient use of Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) for the coordination of emergency response. Some limitations were also identified, and will be improved upon. Importantly, the lessons learned are being reviewed to further inform capacity development processes particularly at the state-level. The SimEx also provided useful insights that have been incorporated into the National Ebola Virus Disease Contingency Plan currently being developed for Nigeria.
The exercise reflected the vision of the NCDC in ensuring national health security through persistent, proactive and evidence-based implementation of public health EPRR measures at national and sub-national levels.
Summary of Incidents
1. Information for this disease was retrieved from the Technical Working Group and Situation Reports
2. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for this disease is reported for confirmed cases only
3. Information for this disease was retrieved from IDSR 002 data
4. CFR for this disease is reported for total cases i.e. suspected + confirmed
5. Information for sentinel influenza was retrieved from the laboratory