The Director General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control(NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has urged state governments to invest massively in the prevention, detection and control of diseases in their communities as it is an important part of public health.
Ihekweazu, made the call in an interview with the press at the sidelines of the 62nd National Council on Health(NCH) Meeting, in Asaba, Delta state.
The theme of the meeting is “Consolidating The Journey Toward Achieving Universal Health Coverage’’.
”There is urgent need for state governments to devote more resources to support disease outbreak investigations, through 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 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 has developed 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 has 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.