NCDC Weekly Epidemiological Report: Issue: Volume 12 No.19. 1st June 2021

Situation Report
Originally published
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Strengthening Risk Communication Activities for One-Health Approach in Nigeria
Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases of zoonotic origin have remained a public health burden threatening Nigeria’s health security with the country labelled a hotspot for some of them. These diseases have been listed among priority diseases for reporting under the National Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Strategy. These include Lassa fever, Ebola virus disease, yellow fever, monkeypox and the ongoing coronavirus disease. Aside the negative impact zoonotic diseases pose on socio-economic, educational and political activities, the usually associated high morbidity and mortality remain a cause for concern. Apart from high population density, factors promoting increasing human-animal interface such as human encroachment on ecosystem, rapid urbanization etc, continue to place Nigeria at risk of these highly pathogenic zoonotic diseases.

To address the above and given the human-animal-environment inter-connectedness, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to work the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, the World Health Organisation and other relevant development partners to adopt a One-Health (OH) approach in her diverse programme areas. This is a collaborative, multi-sectoral, and transdisciplinary approach recognizing the interactions between humans, animals, and their shared environment.

One key product from the afore-mentioned collaboration was the development in 2018 of a five-year OH strategic plan 2019-2023. This roadmap envisions a nation of healthy people and healthy animals living in balanced ecosystem. The NCDC also provides an oversight for the implementation of the OH-oriented World Bank Regional Disease Surveillance System Enhancement (REDISSE) Project in Nigeria.

Aside coordination of ongoing implementation of activities in the OH plan, the NCDC is currently working closely with Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BAN) of the USAID flagship interventions to promote risk communication activities (BAN) for social and behavioural change, this under the prime implementation of John Hopkins Centre for Communication Programs (JHU-CCP). In line with this, the NCDC and the BAN from 1st – 4th June 2021 organised a training of trainers’ workshop on OH Risk Communication (RC) for media and public health communicators. The objectives are to:

  1. Adapt and own the JHCCP OH RC training package as a national document.

  2. Equip a group of master trainers to effectively deliver the training package designed to strengthen the capacity of public health communicators and media

  3. Support OH partners, public health communicators, and media professionals to learn, practice and apply the principles of effective risk communication.

  4. Improve confidence and ability of OH partners, public health communicators, and media professionals to effectively respond to the public’s needs and concerns regarding prioritized zoonotic diseases (PZDs) and public health emergencies to minimize conflicting information, rumors and misinformation.

  5. Explore if PZD media strategy is a priority for the country

With participants drawn from One Health Technical Committee, National Risk Communication Technical Working Group, Media and Global Health Security Agenda/other implementing partners, the workshop provided a unique opportunity to adapt and develop a draft national OH training package on RC and develop the capacity of a pool of trainers in the area of RC.

The critical next step is for the NCDC and partners to adapt, finalise and broadly disseminate training manual for improved RC activities in Nigeria.

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