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FG partners U.S. on health response

By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja   |   24 September 2015   |   11:19 pm  
The west African outbreak of Ebola has killed some 11,300 people since first emerging in December 2013 in Guinea, with Liberia the hardest hit (AFP Photo/Evan Schneider)

The west African outbreak of Ebola has killed some 11,300 people since first emerging in December 2013 in Guinea, with Liberia the hardest hit (AFP Photo/Evan Schneider)

The Federal Government is partnering with the United States of America under the Ebola/Global Health Security Programme to protect and strengthen public health security, systems and capacity in Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awute, made this known in Abuja when he received a delegation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) led by the Country Director, Dr. Hank Tomlinson.

He added that the partnership would be implemented based on strategic health priorities and collective national values, stressing that collaboration of this nature is a panacea to the successful implementation of the second phase of the five year Grant and Cooperation Agreement entered into as a response to the call for proposals from eligible countries by the CDC, in early 2014, for competitive funding under the Global Health Security (GHS).”

Awute recalled the role played by the US-CDC and other partners in the war against Ebola in Nigeria, adding that “the role played by the U.S. will remain evergreen. The setting up of Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) with incident commandment and other intervention measures, such as the completion of the national laboratory to diagnose the disease early, accelerated the onslaught against the disease.”
Also speaking, the National Coordinator, Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi, noted that the U.S. CDC has helped to support and nurture the Nigerian CDC.

He further stated that African Heads of State and Government have recognized that Nigeria’s CDC should serve as the ECOWAS Regional Center for Disease Control.

In his response, Dr. Tomlinson said the visit of the team was to technically assess Nigeria’s emergency response preparedness. He affirmed that he was encouraged by the opportunities in Nigeria and the success stories, which gave cause for much optimism.
According to him, Nigeria’s containment of the Ebola Virus is an example, noting that the U.S. has resources for capacity development, strengthening system activities and building of international health plans for global health security.

He assured that the U.S. CDC would continue to contribute and collaborate with the ministry in order to promote international health security.



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