The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says it will carry out a mid-term Joint External Evaluation (JEE), in November.
According to its Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the evaluation would be carried out in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as relevant development partners.
The centre, in 2017, carried out an evaluation of Nigeria’s International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) capacities, where it highlighted the gaps in Nigeria’s health security system.
Discoveries from the 2017 evaluation formed the basis for a National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), which was developed and launched in 2018.
According to the NCDC boss, the centre, as the IHR National Focal Point, as well as other MDAs, had since invested resources in closing the gaps identified.
He said that the mid-term JEE was to enable Nigeria answer the critical question about the level of progress made across the 19 IHR technical areas in Nigeria since 2017.
Ihekweazu said that the evaluation would be carried out from Nov. 18 to 22, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The NCDC boss explained that since the first JEE in Nigeria, changes had been made, including the introduction of a JEE 2.0 tool.
“To ensure that technical leads are better prepared for the process, the United States Centers for Disease Control (US-CDC), and WHO supported NCDC to train officers on the new JEE 2.0 tool.
In attendance were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance, and the Office of the National Security Adviser,” he said.
Ihekweazu said that the workshop provided a unique opportunity to introduce the new tool as well as brainstorm on strategies to ensure a successful mid-term evaluation.
He said that a major outcome from the workshop was that the cross-sectorial technical leads had improved the understanding and capacity to provide support in some desired mid-term JEE outputs.
“They will be able to objectively revise the JEE scores using the new tool.2 document, a narrative describing major accomplishments and challenges since the JEE was conducted.
It helps in developing a one-year operational plan using JEE scores to identify the Benchmark Actions, with approximately three Benchmark Actions per technical area.
It helps to map partner areas of support to selected benchmarks, with identification of gap areas that should be prioritised for resource mobilisation,” he said.
Ihekweazu said that NCDC, as the national focal point for IHR implementation in Nigeria, was committed to fulfilling its obligations in ensuring national health security.