As a signatory to the International Health Regulations (IHR), Nigeria has begun the final process towards the development of a National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS). This process has been coordinated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners.
From the 23rd to 27th of July 2018, NCDC hosted a final five-day workshop in Abuja to complete the development of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS). The National Action Plan identifies priority areas for action, will enable effective resource mobilisation and ensure country ownership for health security planning.
Following the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of IHR (2005) capacities in Nigeria in 2017, the development of a prioritised national plan for health security was recommended. This is to address the identified gaps and implement key recommendations that will strengthen capacities to prevent, detect and respond to public health events.
With the strong political commitment from the government and support from partners including the WHO, US Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) and RESOLVE, several of the gaps identified in the JEE have been addressed, and a plan developed.
In his opening remarks, the NCDC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, emphasised the Federal Government’s commitment to improving outbreak preparedness and response in Nigeria. “Notably, over a year after this process, several gaps identified from the evaluation have already been addressed; given the strong political commitment to strengthening health security in Nigeria. For the first time we are bringing key stakeholders from different agencies and sectors including agriculture, uniformed services and others to develop a plan on how Nigeria can better protect its populace against outbreaks of infectious diseases”.
This is the first time Nigeria will have a multi-sectoral action plan that defines roles and timelines of stakeholders across the country in ensuring health security.
Prior to this validation and costing workshop, stakeholders had met in February to define roles and responsibilities and develop a draft of the national action plan.
Mrs. Olubunmi Ojo, Director of Surveillance NCDC who has led the project, also expressed her optimism on the completion of the national action plan. She reminded the stakeholders present of the significant work to be done to achieve the country’s goals and urged all involved to work towards implementation of the NAPHS.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okudo of WHO expressed the organisation’s readiness and commitment to work with the Nigerian government to protect the health of its citizens.
Participants in the workshop included representatives and relevant stakeholders from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), health parastatals, health-based civil society organizations experts in the legal, security, immunisation, and risk communications sectors.
For the first time in history, Nigeria has a multi-sectoral action plan that defines the roles of stakeholders across the country in ensuring health security.
NCDC Toll-free Number: 0800-970000-10
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu,
CEO, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control