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Nigeria will build her capacity to respond to emerging, re-emerging infectious diseases – Mamora



Nigeria will continue to build her capacity to respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State for Health, has said.

Mamora made this known while declaring open, a Coronavirus (COVID19), Infection Prevention and Control Training of Trainers (IPC,TOT), workshop for participants from

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde and Côte d’Ivoire.

Others are The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo

organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), on Friday in Abuja.

The training was convened on Infection Prevention and Control to strengthen COVID19 preparedness in Africa in collaboration with Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC), in support from WHO and Infection Control Africa Network ICAfricaNetwork.

Mamora said: ”In 2018, Nigeria developed a national training manual for Infection Prevention Control (IPC) which is being used in major treatment centres across the country especially in response to Lassa fever outbreaks.

“This is driven through the National Centre Disease Control (NCDC), National Infection Prevention and Control Programme on IPC practices,” he said.

The minister explained that the essence of the training was to build the capacities of the trainees and make trainers out of them, so as to have more capable hands in the

“It is important to state that what you have learned should not end here but be passed on to every health worker in your various countries towards the prevention and control of COVID-19,” he said.

He described the training, as a huge step aimed at strengthening the preparedness and response of Africa to COVID-19.

”Nigeria is pleased to host participants from across the continent particularly those from the 16 Africa Union Member States.

“This training is a big step towards strengthening the preparedness and response of Africa, to COVID-19,’’ he added

The Minister applauded the collaboration between the Africa CDC, WHO, ICAN in building the IPC capacity of Members States on COVID-19.

He further said over the years, the emergence of zoonotic diseases have been described as “predictably unpredictable” because no one can ascertained where, when and how they will occur and that COVID-19 is a clear example.

He added that since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, it has spread rapidly and widely, affecting 26 countries and more recently, Egypt.

”The declaration of COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) has ensured coordinated efforts at international, regional, national and even sub-national levels.

“There is still much to learn about COVID-19 but we know for certain that person-to-person transmission has been confirmed.

“Therefore, health workers, who are at the forefront of response activities through caring for patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, are at risk of infection.

“This makes adherence to IPC practices a priority for countries in order to protect their citizens and significantly reduce the risk of transmission within and outside the country,’’ he stressed.

Also speaking, Mr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC, said that NCDC remains committed to working with partners to strengthen COVID19 preparedness in the region.

Ihekweazu, who was represented by Mrs Elsie Ilori, Director of Surveillance and Epidemiology, NCDC, thanked the Africa CDC, WHO and ICAfricaNetwork for convening the training on IPC for African Union Member States.

“Critical to our response in Nigeria, and Africa, are health workers and Port health officials who face higher risks of infection.

“We must equip them with skills necessary for the implementation of IPC measures to ensure break in the transmission chain of coronavirus,” he said.

Mr Tajudeen Raji, representative of the Director General, Africa Centre for Disease Control, said that COVID19 was fast evolving, and experts are learning about the disease every day.

Raji said that Africa CDC task force on COVID19 had prioritised the training because they know that IPC was key to limiting spread of the disease.

He said that in addition to the training on infection prevention and control, Africa CDC would continue to intensify preparedness for COVID19 in the continent.

“So far, we have supported 15 African Union member states to establish testing capacity for COVID19.

Meanwhile, NCDC and Africa CDC in collaboration with WHO and ICAN will train representatives from across Africa on IPC for COVID-19.

NAN reports that the training end on Feb. 25, in Abuja.

It will provide participants with improved capacity for the prevention and control of COVID-19, a continuous learning opportunities and an inclusion into the COVID-19 IPC focal persons’ network for the African region.

NAN, reports that as at Feb., 20,  2020, over 75,748 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2129 deaths have been reported to WHO since 7th of January 2020.

African countries are at-risk of the ongoing epidemic because of the significant travel and trade connections with China.

OnJan. 30,  the WHO Director-General declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and urged Member Countries to strengthen their preparedness for prevention and response to COVID-19.*NAN)

Edited By: Zainab Garba/Sadiya Hamza

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Abujah Racheal: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

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April 2020