US Ambassador visits NCDC
• says centre is a model for Africa
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, today, September 10, commended the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for being a model for other national public health institutes on the African continent saying the centre has shown how efficient a public-sector organization should be.
Ambassador Symington spoke during a courtesy visit to the NCDC headquarters in Abuja.
A statement from NCDC signed by its Chief Executive Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed that Ambassador Symington also urged the country to continue to invest in building resilient health systems saying this would safeguard citizens and act as a strategy to bolster economic transformation in the nation.
“The experience that I have had during my visit to the NCDC Headquarters has shown me how things can be done efficiently in a public-sector organization. I commend the NCDC for being a model for other national public health institutes on the continent”, he said.
The Ambassador, according to the statement, also reinforced the United State government’s leadership and commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) whose goal is to support countries to strengthen their ability to prevent and respond to epidemics.
“Through the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(US-CDC) we have supported the NCDC to train frontline health workers, strengthen laboratory capacity and disease surveillance across the nation. Particularly laudable among NCDC’s recent achievements, is the coordination of the development of a National Action Plan for Health Security. This plan reinforces the need for multi-sectoral collaborations to fight epidemics and ensure global health security,” he reportedly said.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole received the US Ambassador alongside the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu. Dr. Ihekweazu briefed the Ambassador on NCDC’s key achievements, current challenges and priorities for the future.
In his remarks, the Prof. Adewole said: “This visit is important to NCDC as it has given the agency and the Federal Ministry of Health a platform to share our strategic commitment to national and global health security.
“The Government of Nigeria has increasingly demonstrated that national governments can take ownership for protecting the health of their citizens. We are grateful to the US Government for the continuous support we receive to strengthen our health sector”.
NCDC said the visit has reinforced its role as Nigeria’s national public health institute and demonstrates the US’ strong confidence in its long-standing relationship with the Nigerian government.
“It also highlights the progress made in the prevention and detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks,” the statement further said.