The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has formally launched its collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL), an initiative of Vital Strategies. RTSL is a global public health initiative that works with governments to implement strategies for epidemic prevention and improved national health security.
Since 2017, RTSL has supported key areas of work carried out by NCDC, especially following Nigeria’s Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of International Health Regulations (IHR) in 2017. Specifically, the organisation has supported the development and implementation of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), strengthening of the national yellow fever/measles/rubella laboratory network as well as development of programme management capacity and broad institutional development.
Following the successful collaboration, the President and CEO of RTSL, Dr. Tom Frieden, spoke at a symposium held in his honour and to officially launch the collaboration with NCDC in Abuja.
He said, “During the 2014 Ebola epidemic, Nigeria’s rapid control measures in Lagos showed that readiness saves lives and prevents spread of epidemics, protecting the country, continent, and world. I’m encouraged by NCDC’s commitment to build on that experience and strengthen Nigeria’s ability to find, stop and prevent epidemics. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with NCDC and other key stakeholders to support Nigeria’s work to improve preparedness for the next epidemic.”
The Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu expressed his appreciation for the strong collaboration with RTSL, stating “The work done by Resolve in tracking countries progress across JEE areas is unique and critical. For us at NCDC, the support has helped us to identify gaps, develop realistic activities and work towards the goals to mitigate these gaps in our health security capacity”.
The collaboration between NCDC and RTSL will expand in 2019, to include support for sub-national health security, towards strengthening national and global health security.