Nigeria Center for Disease Control
Plot 801 Ebitu Ukiwe Street, Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria
Twitter & Facebook: @NCDCgov
Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was established in the year 2011 in response to the challenges of public health emergencies and to enhance Nigeria’s preparedness and response to epidemics through prevention, detection, and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Its core mandate is to detect, investigate, prevent and control diseases of national and international public health importance.
The mission for the NCDC next five years (2017-2021) is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response activities, using a one health approach, guided by research and led by a skilled workforce’.
The agency currently leads the surveillance and response to communicable diseases, provides diagnostic services through its National Reference Laboratory and collaborating laboratories across the country, and co-ordinates Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) surveillance in Nigeria. In the last one year, the agency has supported the restructuring of the surveillance structure and response to disease outbreaks in the North-East of Nigeria.
The core functions of the NCDC include:
- Prevent, detect, and control diseases of public health importance.
- Coordinate surveillance systems to collect, analyze and interpret data on diseases of public health importance.
- Support States in responding to small outbreaks, and lead the response to large disease outbreaks.
- Develop and maintain a network of reference and specialized laboratories.
- Conduct, collate, synthesize and disseminate public health research to inform policy.
- Lead Nigeria’s engagement with the international community on diseases of public health relevance
The Center has close to one hundred staff, working across its locations at the Headquarters and the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, as well as the Central Public Health Laboratory in Lagos State which is a campus of the National Reference Laboratory.
Led by a Chief Executive Officer, the members of staff work in six Directorates, four of which are Technical Directorates. These include:
- Public Health Laboratory Services
- Prevention and Programs Coordination
- Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Surveillance and Epidemiology
- Finance and Accounts
- Administration and Human Resources
PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY SERVICES
The Directorate of Public Health Laboratory Services manages the national and regional reference laboratories. This also coordinates the Central Public Health Laboratory, a campus of the National Reference Laboratory and a WHO-designated reference lab for the diagnosis of Measles, Rubella, and Yellow Fever. The Directorate maintains and manages the network of NCDC collaborating laboratories, spread across regions of the country.
The Public Health Laboratory Services provides diagnostic services for diseases of public health importance in the country including VHFs, meningitis, cholera, measles, yellow fever, rubella, polio and others. The team co-ordinates and manages the National Public Health Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for the country.
The Directorate coordinates the deployment of the mobile laboratory during outbreak response activities.
PREVENTION AND PROGRAMS COORDINATION
The Directorate of Prevention and Programs Coordination develops health promotion and disease prevention plans which address priority endemic infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. The Directorate conducts research to inform evidence-based policies and practice, and make evidence-based practice the foundation of all programs. The Team also works with other government agencies and partners to promote partnerships and collaborations, especially towards strengthening the One Health approach.
In April 2017, the Directorate coordinated the development of a National Antimicrobial Resistance Situational Analysis and Action Plan, as well as the enrollment of laboratories into the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS)
HEALTH EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
The Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response is responsible for the mitigation of disasters and emergencies and management of its impact. The Team also leads or supports outbreak response activities including the deployment of Rapid Response Teams. In addition to this, the Directorate builds capacity, advocates and sensitises on emergency preparedness and response.
During the 2016/2017 Meningitis outbreak, the Directorate led the establishment of an Emergency Operations Centre located at the Headquarters. The EOC is responsible for coordination of outbreak response activities in the country. The Directorate has also supported the rebuilding of the surveillance system and supported the response to disease outbreaks in the North-East of Nigeria.
This Directorate collects, collates and analyses data of priority diseases from the 36 states and FCT to detect outbreaks and inform policy. This is done through the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response strategy. The Team implements the International Health Regulation (IHR) cross border coordination, verification and notification, ensuring the health security of the country. On every Tuesday of the week, the Team releases the National Weekly Epidemiological Report on the website of the NCDC (http://ncdc.gov.ng/reports/weekly).
The Surveillance Directorate also has an event based surveillance system, detecting and verifying rumours relating to diseases and outbreaks. It is also in the process of digitisation of its reporting system, with the first phase currently active in 16 of the 36 States in Nigeria.
Co-ordinated by the Surveillance Directorate, Nigeria completed the voluntary Joint External Evaluation of her International Health Regulations capacities in June 2017, one of about 44 countries globally that has completed this process.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control works with the US Center for Disease Control and the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) in the delivery of the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Program (NFELTP). The Program is currently in its 9th cohort.
The NFELTP is a two-year in-service training program in applied epidemiology, veterinary epidemiology and public health laboratory epidemiology and management. Nigeria is among the first countries to implement a veterinary track to address the ever-increasing threat of zoonotic infectious diseases and strengthen the collaboration between the human and animal health sectors.
The National Reference Laboratory complex in Abuja also serves as the Training Centre for NFELTP Residents.