The United States Centers for Disease Control (US-CDC) on Monday kicked off a two-week capacity building programme in Lagos for Nigerian experts on public health emergency response.
The training seeks to certify the first cohort of 40 participants drawn from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), state-level ministries of health, the Nigeria Port Health Services, and the Nigerian military in the Public Health Emergency Management Professional Certification (PHEM PC).
According to the US-CDC Nigeria Country Director, Mary Boyd, “the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates now more than ever the importance of ensuring the public health and health care systems, can adequately prevent, respond to, and recover from health emergencies, particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities.”
The PHEM PC training, a first of its kind in Nigeria, adapted from US-CDC Atlanta, equips emergency managers, incident managers, state epidemiologists, first responders, watch managers, and other public health experts with the knowledge, competencies and skillsets they need to respond to public health emergencies.
During the intensive programme, participants will receive specialized training in crisis and emergency risk communication as well as public health emergency management functions and operations.
The PHEM training is part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to support pandemic preparedness globally. US-CDC, NCDC, and Georgetown University are collaborating to deliver this training.
In 2019, Nigeria became a Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) partner country committed to achieving GHSA 2024 targets and International Health Regulations (IHR) requirements.
US-CDC supports the Government of Nigeria (GON) to achieve these targets by strengthening workforce development, surveillance, emergency response, and laboratory capacity among other areas.