The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) says a peacetime health system is needed to better prepare for the next pandemic.
NCDC director-general Ifedayo Adetifa said this on Monday in Abuja at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) and the International Research Centre of Excellence (IRCE) Scientific Seminar.
Mr Adetifa said there was a need to develop libraries for rapid diagnostic, therapeutic and vaccine development in anticipation of disease ‘X’. He said Nigeria also needed to intensify its health promotion, disease prevention and emergency response approaches.
The NCDC chief added that a strengthened laboratory diagnosis capacity and coordinated surveillance could not be overwhelmed. According to him, data, data and more data, freely shared, will allow for better decision-making across the country.
Mr Adetifa, however, mentioned that the country’s key lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic was the role of political will and specific strategies. He said that reliable data was critical for informed decision-making, while Strategic collaboration and partnership were essential.
The director-general of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Babatunde Salako, also stressed the need for adequate funding for research in the country.
Mr Salako explained that funding must be provided to research the area of disease surveillance, prevention, detection and treatment in the country.
While commending IHVN for its continuous efforts towards research in the country, he said that NIMR would continue to support its efforts in Nigeria.
Alash’le Abimiku, the executive director of the International Research Center of Excellence, IHVN, said IRCE possessed a clear vision and mission which align with IHVN’s.
According to Ms Abimiku, IRCW provides leadership in research in Nigeria and West Africa through globally standardized expertise, transparency and accountability, positively shifting the culture of research in Africa.
She said that IRCE has the following main objectives — to fulfil its goal of creating an enabling environment for creative thinking and innovation in science to address Nigeria’s and global health priorities.
“Fosters collaborations and synergism between Nigeria’s finest researchers and their counterparts at international research institutions and universities,” Ms Abimiku stressed. “Provides a safety net that protects IHVN and its collaborators from liability by proactively ensuring that research conducted at IHVN is under the highest scientific and ethical standards.”