CDC in Nigeria
Emir of Shonga Dr. Haliru Yahya (left) speaks with Mary Beth Leonard, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, during a ceremony to mark Nigeria wild poliovirus free on August 29, 2020. Photo by Halilu Usman/CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established an office in Nigeria in 2001. CDC Nigeria works with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), state ministries of health, government agencies, and partners to address HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and vaccine-preventable diseases. CDC Nigeria also supports strengthening laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacity in response to disease outbreaks.
Global Health Security
Countries with strong and resilient public health systems can quickly prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. In 2019, Nigeria became a Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) partner country committed to improving progress toward GHSA goals and International Health Regulations requirements. CDC works with the Government of Nigeria and partners to achieve these goals by strengthening workforce development, surveillance, emergency response, and laboratory capacity. Public health expertise in Nigeria has been strengthened throughout the control of HIV, TB, and malaria, the eradication of wild poliovirus, the response to mpox, and preparedness efforts for Ebola, influenza, and other pandemic diseases.
CDC Nigeria helps train epidemiologists in the basic, intermediate, and advanced Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs. These epidemiologists work in relevant sectors of Nigeria’s public health system, including the COVID-19 response. Graduates and current program residents include disease surveillance and notification officers, community health extension workers, state epidemiologists, physicians, lab scientists, and veterinarians.
CDC helped develop a National Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan for border points of entry
National Public Health Institutes (NPHI)
CDC supported the creation of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). In addition, CDC provided technical support to establish five Africa CDC Regional Collaborating Centers. The West African Regional Collaborating Center is in Nigeria. With assistance from CDC, Africa CDC and the regional centers established the Surveillance and Response Unit and develop workforce capacity. CDC Nigeria also supports the NPHI, which integrates public health functions, coordinates across sectors, and accounts for public health resources. CDC helps strengthen the NPHI’s technical capacities that enable Nigeria to respond when disasters strike. Nigeria’s NPHI works to:
- Prevent and control communicable diseases
- Coordinate surveillance systems
- Support states with outbreak response
- Develop and maintain public health laboratories
- Conduct public health research to inform policy
- Coordinate compliance with International Health Regulations
CDC developed national guidelines and protocols for response to different disease outbreaks, including a national multi-hazard preparedness plan
Global health security investments and decades of global cooperation and support for outbreak response and routine immunization have built strong foundations and systems that are critical to the COVID-19 response. CDC Nigeria provided strategic direction to the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and continues to collaborate with national and state governments and partners to support ongoing response activities. CDC Nigeria supports COVID-19 surveillance and epidemiology, emergency response operations, case management, laboratory systems strengthening, risk communication, and vaccination. CDC also supported the establishment and operation of national and state-level EOCs.
To increase COVID-19 preventive and protective behaviors in Nigeria, CDC supported the training of volunteers, community and religious leaders, media, and celebrities to disseminate COVID-19 messages
HIV and Tuberculosis (TB)
HIV and TB are the world’s two deadliest infectious diseases. Moreover, these epidemics are tragically interconnected, as TB is the leading cause of death for people living with HIV. As a key implementer of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC works with the FMOH and partners to build sustainable and high-impact national HIV response programs. The objective is to achieve the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 95-95-95 goals and accelerate HIV epidemic control.
CDC’s data-driven approach combined with HIV treatment and prevention strategies strengthen collaborative activities in Nigeria. Some activities include targeted HIV testing and counseling, HIV treatment, services to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and TB/HIV integrated service delivery. CDC also supports the expansion of diagnostic services for TB and COVID-19 testing and infection prevention and control for patients and healthcare workers.
CDC Nigeria helped establish and provides support to West Africa’s first National HIV Clinical Mentorship Program. Nigeria’s program has over 180 state clinical mentors that work towards ensuring a sustained, state-led HIV epidemic control response
Malaria is endemic in Nigeria and is a leading cause of death and disease in many countries. Young children and pregnant women are the most affected groups. Under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), CDC works with national and international partners to implement malaria prevention and control interventions. In Nigeria, PMI supports key intervention areas in the national malaria control strategy. PMI prioritizes the areas in Nigeria with the highest burden of malaria to achieve significant reduction in death and illness. CDC assigned a resident advisor to Nigeria to support malaria control efforts, including:
- Sourcing and distributing long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets
- Preventing malaria in pregnancy
- Improving diagnostics and case management
- Monitoring and evaluating malaria-related activities
- Providing support for a routine health information system in select states and local government areas
- Strengthening entomological monitoring and insecticidal resistance monitoring capacity at federal and state levels
Since 2010, PMI has provided $712 million in investments. This includes the distribution of over 61 million insecticide-treated bed nets, which are now in 43% of all households, twice the rate before the intervention
Every year, vaccines prevent two to three million global deaths among children younger than age 5. Still, one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that a vaccine could have prevented. CDC provides technical and programmatic expertise to eradicate, eliminate or control vaccine-preventable diseases through immunizations. CDC works with international and local partners to strengthen immunization systems and provide evidence-based technical knowledge to expand routine vaccine delivery. This work helps prevent cases of infectious diseases like polio and measles.
Nigeria was certified as free of wild poliovirus by the Africa Regional Certification Commission in August 2020. CDC supported field activities to eliminate polio in Nigeria for the past 10 years, including:
- Vaccination campaign planning
- Program monitoring and supervision
- Acute flaccid paralysis surveillance
- Outbreak investigations of polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases
- Outreach to nomadic populations
- Data management
CDC helped implement a national software system for routine immunization and an SMS texting system for weekly reporting in 18 states. CDC also supported an electronic data management system for COVID-19 vaccination
Photo Essay: CDC and Nigeria partner to Respond to COVID-19
- 14 U.S. Assignees
- 94 Locally Employed
- Population: > 211.4 million
- Per capita income: $5,000
- Life expectancy: F 56 / M 54 years
- Infant mortality rate: 58/1,000 live births
Sources: World Bank 2021, Nigeria; Population Reference Bureau 2021, Nigeria