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US CDC improves Nigeria’s border health

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By Okunloye Abiodun

Diseases and other public health risks will be tackled through border security.

The Nigerian government and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) have collaborated to safeguard the nation’s borders effectively from the perils of infectious diseases and other potential public health risks. Emphasising the significance of robust border security, Dr. Farah Husain, the organisation’s Director of the Global Health Protection Programme, asserts that fortifying global health security commences with the establishment of strong border defences. In a press conference held in Abuja, she explained the paramount importance of border health in detecting and reducing potential hazards linked to the transmission of illnesses among individuals entering or exiting the nation.

According to Husain, the gateway through which small outbreaks transform into global pandemics is a matter of concern. In order to establish strong health systems at borders, it is imperative to have current plans and procedures in place along with adequately trained staff. She also mentioned that enforcing and implementing laws, policies, and regulations play a vital role in this process. The CDC collaborates with Pro-Health International Support and Port-Health Services partners to accomplish numerous tasks related to this matter.

Nigeria forms an alliance to enhance border health security.

Speaking further, she acknowledged the recognition of accomplishments in the recent Joint External Evaluation (JEE) score, and emphasised that there remains a considerable amount of work yet to be accomplished. Her explanation describes her desire to reaffirm the CDC unwavering commitment to collaborating with the Nigerian government through Port Health Services. She additionally described their collective aim to combat and tackle potential public health challenges effectively, ensuring prevention, detection, and response measures are in place.

Dr. Muhammad Saleh, the Senior Emergency Management Specialist of the US CDC Nigeria, elaborated on the concept of border health. He explained that this particular branch of public health is dedicated to managing the health issues of individuals who are constantly on the move and the communities they visit before, during, and after their travels. Its primary goal is to ensure the well-being of travellers throughout their entire journey, regardless of whether they are exploring their own country or venturing internationally. One of its main focuses is to identify and address any potential risks associated with the transmission of diseases. In light of Nigeria’s commitment to advancing the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and its progress towards this goal, the US CDC emphasised the importance of border health within the country during the discussion.

Points of entry can amplify the likelihood of disease transmission.

Additionally, he stated that Nigeria faces numerous outbreaks of infectious diseases every year. These outbreaks pose a significant risk to the country, mainly when they originate in the surrounding regions. The movement of people across points of entry, such as porous ground crossings, further amplifies the likelihood of disease transmission, escalating both the risk of disease entering Nigeria and the risk of it spreading beyond its borders. Also, he mentioned that the implementation of strategies is backed by the Port Health Service (PHS), which is a subdivision of the Federal Ministry of Health through the US CDC. He explained further that Pro-Health International also acts as an implementing partner for enhancing border health, employing diverse tactics such as POE surveillance, staff capacity building, and passenger screening.

He added that they contribute to border health by providing assistance in various aspects of Nigeria. This includes guidance in leadership, management, and funding through initiatives such as GHSA and the CARES Act. According to him, they actively engage in advocacy efforts and work towards improving the quality of Points Of Entry (POE). He described the importance of technical assistance to enhance outbreak preparedness for diseases like Marburg, Ebola, and Anthrax. They also support cross-border surveillance capacity development master training programs and offer expertise in public health emergency management for PHS

Several points of entry remain unrecognised by the government.

Lastly, Dr. Akpan Nsibong, the Director of Port Health Services within the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, acknowledged the notable progress made by Nigeria in enhancing its border health security. He emphasised that Nigeria could indeed set an example for the entire West African region. However, Dr. Nsibong highlighted that there are still obstacles to cross-border surveillance. Specifically, he pointed out that certain points of entry remain undisclosed and unrecognised by the government. He further mentioned that their count of approximately 60 points of entry includes some individuals whose presence is unauthorised, representing a potential menace to the nation.

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2 months ago

US CDC improves Nigeria’s border health.Diseases and other public health risks will be tackled through border security.Express your point of view.

2 months ago

I find the collaboration between the Nigerian government and the US CDC to enhance border health security reassuring. The emphasis on strong border defenses and the commitment to detect and mitigate potential health risks align with the well-being of our nation. However, challenges in cross-border surveillance and undisclosed entry points underscore the need for continued efforts to ensure comprehensive health security. Overall, the initiative reflects a positive step toward safeguarding public health in Nigeria.

2 months ago

To manage public health risks and stop the spread of diseases, it is essential to have strong entry point controls in place. This partnership has the potential to demonstrate our commitment to global health security and provide a good example for the whole West African region.

2 months ago

Nigeria’s border health is enhanced by US CDC. Border security measures will address diseases and other hazards to public health.Maintaining a strong border requires constant vigilance and security measures. We must take steps to secure and impenetrably border our country.

Adeoye Adegoke
1 month ago

That’s great news to hear that the US CDC is working to improve Nigeria’s border health and tackle diseases and other public health risks through border security measures. Collaboration and support from international organizations like the CDC can play a crucial role in strengthening public health systems and protecting communities.
Border health is an important aspect of overall public health, as diseases can easily spread across borders if not effectively managed. By implementing robust border security measures, such as screening procedures and health surveillance, Nigeria can better identify and respond to potential health threats, ultimately safeguarding the health and well-being of its citizens.
Partnerships between countries in addressing public health challenges are essential, as diseases and health risks do not recognize borders. The US CDC’s involvement in improving Nigeria’s border health demonstrates the importance of global cooperation in addressing public health issues.
I’m glad to see efforts being made to enhance Nigeria’s border health, and I hope that these measures will contribute to a healthier and safer environment for everyone.