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Tinubu approves Africa-CDC in Nigeria

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By Abraham Adekunle

This is part of the president's vision for healthcare in Nigeria.

To bolster regional and global health security, President Bola Tinubu has given the green light for the establishment of the Regional Coordinating Centre (RCC) of the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa-CDC). This decision marks a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s commitment to healthcare excellence and its pivotal role in the African Union’s healthcare initiatives. The announcement came through Ajuri Ngelale, the president’s special adviser on media and publicity, who highlighted that the RCC’s location in Abuja reflects President Tinubu’s broader strategy to showcase Nigeria’s unwavering dedication to regional and global health security.

Its establishment is not just about infrastructure; it signifies Nigeria’s proactive stance in addressing health challenges across the continent. The establishment of the RCC in Abuja will bring several benefits to the country. Firstly, it will serve as a hub for coordinating efforts to respond swiftly and effectively to disease outbreaks, thereby enhancing Nigeria and West Africa’s capacity to tackle health emergencies. Secondly, it is expected to create local economic opportunities within the healthcare sector, leading to a boost in job creation and overall economic growth.

Beyond socioeconomic benefits, FG also upgrades college to uni.

Ngelale emphasized that beyond its immediate impact on health security, the RCC will also have far-reaching socio-economic benefits. It is projected to enhance national productivity by strengthening the healthcare delivery value chain and reversing the brain drain of medical professionals. Moreover, it will empower indigenous healthcare experts to combat both existing and emerging diseases, not only within Nigeria but also across the African continent. Tinubu’s commitment to healthcare excellence extends beyond the establishment of the RCC. He has also approved the upgrade of the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy in Enugu to a full-fledged University of Allied Health Sciences. This transformation underscores Tinubu’s dedication to nurturing a skilled workforce in the health sector and providing accessible, affordable, and high-quality healthcare services to Nigerians.

The decision to upgrade the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy to a university status aligns with Tinubu’s overarching vision for the health and social welfare sector. It reflects his proactive approach towards addressing the critical need for well-trained healthcare professionals and strengthening the foundation of the healthcare system in Nigeria. Furthermore, President Tinubu’s initiatives include ambitious targets such as training 120,000 frontline health workers nationwide within 16 months. This initiative is a testament to his determination to enhance the country’s healthcare infrastructure and human resources.

Primary healthcare facilities in local communities to be doubled.

Additionally, plans are underway to double the number of primary health facilities in local communities from 8,800 to over 17,000 in the next three years, further expanding access to essential healthcare services. The Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa-CDC) plays a pivotal role in the continent’s healthcare landscape. Established by the African Union (AU) to address public health challenges collectively, the Africa-CDC focuses on disease surveillance, response, and research. Its mission aligns with the AU’s commitment to promoting health security and enhancing the capacity of African nations to respond effectively to health threats.

Nigeria’s selection as the host country for one of Africa’s CDC regional centres underscores the country’s leadership in healthcare management and response. The decision was based on Nigeria’s track record in effectively managing health crises, including the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and the recent Lassa Fever outbreaks. These experiences showcased Nigeria’s capabilities in disease detection, surveillance, and response, positioning it as a strategic hub for healthcare initiatives in the region. The AU’s decision to establish regional collaborating centres for the Africa-CDC further strengthens the continent’s ability to combat health challenges collaboratively. These centres, including the RCC in Nigeria, bring together diverse capabilities, assets, and expertise to bolster disease detection, surveillance, and response efforts across Africa.

Related Article: US CDC improves Nigeria’s border health

Of course, this collaborative approach is essential for addressing both existing and emerging health threats effectively. In January 2015, the African Union’s Assembly reaffirmed the need for an African Centre for Disease Control and urged swift action in its establishment. The approved concept included a coordinating office within the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa and regional collaborating centres to enhance the Africa-CDC’s operational reach. Nigeria’s role as a host country for one of these regional centres underscores its strategic importance in the continent’s healthcare architecture.

Related Link

Africa CDC: Website

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