The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has launched a new five-year Strategy and Implementation Plan 2023-2027 to address the emerging and evolving challenges of public health security in the country.
The new strategy, themed “Vision to Action”, aligns with the ministerial agenda for the health sector, which has health security as one of its four pillars. It also reflects the agency’s ambition to scale up and sustain its impact on health security interventions in Nigeria and serve as a model for other African countries.
The strategy identifies seven goals, 41 objectives, and 225 activities that the NCDC will implement under the coordinated and collaborative efforts of the federal, state and local governments, the private sector, and development partners.
The Director General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said at the launch of the document in Abuja on Tuesday that the new strategy was built on the success of the previous NCDC Strategy and Implementation Plan 2017-2021, which enabled the agency to strengthen its capacities, close the gaps, and embrace innovation to achieve its goals and objectives.
He noted that Nigeria has made significant progress in its Covid-19 response and its overall health security readiness. He said Nigeria has improved its Joint External Evaluation (JEE) score from 39% in 2018 to 54% in 2023, becoming the third country in the world to conduct the second JEE. The JEE is a tool used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assess the health security capacities of countries in relation to the International Health Regulations (IHR).
According to him, “The significance of this 2023, 2nd JEE cannot be overstated. It propels Nigeria to the position of being the second country in Africa and the third globally to undergo a second JEE. This achievement is a testament to the relentless dedication of our country, health security partners, and the tireless efforts of NCDC. This launch of the NCDC 5-year Strategic Plan (2023-2027) is designed to incorporate the insights and recommendations stemming from the 2nd JEE, as well as to encapsulate Nigeria’s priorities for strengthening health security”.
He added that the NCDC is committed to enhancing its public health core capabilities, especially in the areas of surveillance, laboratory services, and outbreak response, to protect the citizens of Nigeria from national to sub-national levels.