Health

NCDC will support states in building strong public health workforce, says DG

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it remains committed to supporting states in building a strong public health workforce capable of providing quick and effective response to public health threats.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, told the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja, that this was in line with the centre’s five years strategic plan.

According to him, it is part of the requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR), and workforce development at all levels remains a top priority.

“For 2019, our target is to have a One-Health-oriented Rapid Response Team (RRT) in every state in Nigeria.

“To achieve this, NCDC began a Zonal RRT training on Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, through the World Bank Regional Disease Surveillance System Enhancement project (REDISSSE),” Ihekweazu said.

The NCDC director-general said that through the training, the centre was supporting states in establishing their RRTs.

He said that the goal was to reinforce the capacity and skills of inter-disciplinary RRT and their individual members for early detection and effective response to public health events, irrespective of origin or source as a team.

The director-general said that the teams being trained were expected to cascade the training to other health workers in their respective states.

He said this was to ensure that all states in Nigeria have adequate personnel that could be mobilised quickly for outbreak response.

Ihekweazu said that with the full participation of all states’ RRT from the North-West zone, the fourth zonal RRT training was held from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20 in Kaduna State.

He disclosed that 232 state level officers had been trained across 26 states in the country.

“Our goal is to complete the RRT training in the remaining two zones (South-East and South-South) before the end of 2019.

“In states where these training have been completed, the skills acquired are now being consistently applied in the management of public health emergencies,” he said.

The NCDC director-general expressed with joy that the zonal RRT training had begun to yield key results, contributing to national health security. (NAN)

AIR/GOK

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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