The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, currently on his first official visit to Nigeria, yesterday, April 10, paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The WHO DG who was accompanies by the six Regional Directors from across the world, three Deputy-Director Generals and WHO Nigeria Country Representative, was received by the NCDC’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu who expressed delight at the WHO boss’ visit, thanking the organisation for is support NCDC’s activities including outbreak preparedness and response.
Dr. Ihekweazu also highlighted the strong partnership, which has been key to strengthening national health security. Some of these activities carried out in collaboration with WHO include the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of the country’s International Health Regulations (IHR) capacity, response to outbreaks of Monkeypox, yellow fever, Cerebrospinal Meningitis and Lassa fever. In addition, the support from WHO has been key to the development of Nigeria’s National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) action plan, and processes for operational research.
In her remarks during the visit, the Regional Director of WHO African Region, Dr. Moeti Rebecca Matsishido applauded the work of the agency, highlighting that NCDC serves as a model agency for other African countries, which should be adopted in other regions in the world.
The WHO DG reiterated the commitment of the organisation to support the work of NCDC. Recognising the importance of effective primary healthcare systems in supporting health security. He described Universal Health Coverage and health security as “two sides of the same coin.”