CDC in Nigeria

Nigeria banner image for CDC's Center for Global Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established an office in Nigeria in 2001. CDC works with federal and state ministries of health to address HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and immunization for vaccine-preventable diseases as well as on strengthening laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacity to respond to disease outbreaks.

Nigeria map for CDC's Center for Global Health

What CDC is Doing in Nigeria

HIV is a leading cause of death and a health threat to millions worldwide. As a key implementer of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC provides technical assistance to help the federal and state level ministries of health (MOHs) implement effective, efficient HIV programs. This support has contributed to saving the lives of men, women, and children through HIV treatment services and a robust combination prevention strategy. Using a data-driven approach, this strategy is tailored to the unique characteristics of the local epidemic for maximum health impact.

Working closely with the MOH, CDC supports the scale-up of high-quality HIV prevention interventions including HIV treatment, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission services. Other key activities include improving and expanding HIV counseling, testing, and tuberculosis (TB)/HIV integrated service delivery. Health system strengthening support includes building capacity in the areas of workforce development, operational research, epidemiology, surveillance, health information systems, and program monitoring and evaluation to assess program performance and make adjustments to respond to local epidemic.

Specific laboratory capacity building efforts have included the expansion of laboratory services to support the rapid scale-up of HIV treatment services as well as the establishment of a national reference lab capable of performing diagnostics for TB and other infectious and noninfectious diseases. CDC is also providing support for Phase II field evaluation of HIV rapid test kits and the development of the National Medical Laboratory Strategic Plan.

To make the world safer and more secure from infectious disease threats, the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was launched in 2014. While Nigeria is not a formally participating GHSA partner, the country has agreed to meet the requirements stated in the International Health Regulations. CDC works with the government of Nigeria and other partners to achieve these requirements by focusing on workforce development, emergency response, surveillance, laboratory, and border health/point-of-entry interventions.

CDC supported the African Union to develop and launch the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). CDC provided technical assistance for the establishment of five Africa CDC Regional Collaborating Centers. The West African Regional Collaborating Centre for the Africa CDC is located in Nigeria. Africa CDC and the regional centers, with assistance from CDC, establish the Surveillance and Response Unit, and develop workforce capacity.

Malaria is a leading cause of death and disease in many countries, and young children and pregnant women are the groups most affected. Under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, CDC has assigned a resident advisor to the malaria-endemic country of Nigeria to support the implementation of malaria prevention and control interventions. CDC support includes:

  • Developing the framework for a routine health information system in select states and local government areas
  • Strengthening entomological monitoring and training in the CDC bottle bioassay and World Health Organization (WHO) tube techniques
  • Strengthening diagnostic capacity by developing a quality assurance framework and using dried tube specimens for quality control of malaria rapid diagnostic tests

Vaccines prevent an estimated 2.5 million deaths among children under 5 five years of age. Still, 1 child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine. CDC provides technical and programmatic expertise to eradicate or control vaccine-preventable diseases through immunizations. In collaboration with partners, CDC supports the polio eradication and measles pre-elimination activities in Nigeria. Field activities include campaign planning, monitoring and supervision, acute flaccid paralysis surveillance, outbreak investigations, outreach to nomadic populations, special projects, research, and data management support. Recently, the National Stop Transmission of Polio Program expanded to improve the delivery of routine immunization services across northern states. CDC responded to numerous outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Gender norms, inequalities, and violence increase vulnerability to HIV, due to multiple sociocultural factors. These dynamics may encourage high-risk sexual behaviors, and make it more difficult to get tested, disclose HIV status, and access HIV treatment due to fear of violence or abandonment.  CDC, through implementing partners, promotes gender equity and equality in HIV programs by addressing with teens and adults norms and behaviors that contribute to the HIV epidemic. CDC also supports comprehensive health services and referral linkages to survivors of gender-based violence.

CDC Impact in Nigeria

CDC supported the population-based HIV/AIDS household survey in Nigeria. The Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) reached approximately 250,000 respondents in 90,000 households. The data will guide activities toward HIV/AIDS epidemic control in Nigeria.

Over 800,000 people received PEPFAR-supported antiretroviral therapy and achieved 82% viral load suppression in 2018.

Supported 10 polio campaigns that administered over 140 million doses of polio vaccines to children under 5 years of age in 2018.

CDC Staff in Nigeria
  • 12 U.S. Assignees
  • 84 Locally Employed
Nigeria at a Glance
  • Population: 190,886,311 (2017)
  • Per capita income: $5,680
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 54/M 53 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 67/1,000 live births

Sources: World Bank 2018, Nigeria
Population Reference Bureau 2018, Nigeria

Nigeria Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. Lower respiratory infections
  2. Neonatal disorders
  3. HIV/AIDS
  4. Malaria
  5. Diarrheal diseases
  6. Tuberculosis
  7. Meningitis
  8. lschemic heart disease
  9. Stroke
  10. Cirrhosis

Source: GBD Compare 2018, Nigeria

  • Confronting Malaria on the Frontline in Nigeria
    Fatima is a compact and energetic woman who serves as primary health care coordinator for the local government in a part of northern Nigeria known as Gwale.
    April 17, 2018
  • Nigeria studies Cameroon’s PHIA implementation
    In order for the global community to measure progress toward UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 goals, data are needed on the impact of country-level HIV/AIDS programs. That’s why the Population-Based HIV Impact Assessments (PHIA) project is so important.
    January 18, 2017
  • CDC supports Nigeria in attaining its first internationally accredited public health laboratory
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has supported the government of Nigeria in achieving its first internationally accredited public health laboratory. The feat occurred with the recent accreditation of the laboratory of the Center for Human Virology and Genomics (CHVG) of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), by SANAS – the South African National Accreditation System.
    November 6, 2017
  • Government Agencies Collaborate to Boost Viral Load Testing in Nigeria
    Healthcare services are often more accessible when government agencies and other stakeholders collaborate for the smooth running of healthcare facilities, instead of working independently as different entities. Such was the case of collaboration in Nigeria.
    April 25, 2017
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Page last reviewed: July 3, 2019
Content source: Global Health