Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) has urged state governments to invest massively in the prevention, detection and control diseases of public health importance in their communities.
Ihekweazu, made the call in an interview with a correspondent of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday the sidelines of the 62nd National Council on Health(NCH) Meeting, in Asaba.
The theme of the meeting is ‘’Consolidating The Journey Toward Achieving Universal Health Coverage’’.
”There is an urgent need for state governments to devote more resources to support disease outbreak investigations, through the purchase of vehicles and engagement of more human resources. The provision of such would enhance the effective management of sub-national health security and medical supplies, which the Federal government could support,” he said.
The NCDC chief said that with the nation’s current population density, tropical climate, high level of movement and migration, Nigeria was at a high risk of disease outbreaks.
Ihekweazu said that NCDC had evolved a project to support each state with a Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, aimed at improving coordination of outbreak response in the country. He added that NCDC had also deployed Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System for digital surveillance, and training of state epidemiologists.
The director-general also said that the centre will strengthen the capacities of states for outbreak preparedness and response through the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers.
“We have no choice but to improve our level of preparedness and capacity to respond to disease outbreaks,” he said.