CDC in Nigeria


Emir of Shonga Dr. Haliru Yahya speaks with Mary Beth Leonard, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, during a ceremony to mark Nigeria wild poliovirus free on August 29, 2020. Photo credit: Halilu Usman/CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established an office in Nigeria in 2001. CDC works with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and state ministries of health to fight HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and vaccine-preventable diseases. CDC also supports laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacity in response to disease outbreaks.

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CDC Impact in Nigeria

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 GHSA 2024 targets and International Health Regulations (IHR) requirements. CDC works with the Government of Nigeria (GON) and partners to achieve these targets by strengthening workforce development, surveillance, emergency response, and laboratory capacity.

CDC Nigeria supports the training of field epidemiologists in the basic, intermediate, and advanced Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs. These disease detectives 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.


All 774 local government areas in Nigeria now use an electronic case-based reporting system to detect and track emerging disease threats in real-time

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CDC provided technical assistance for the five-year National Action Plan for Health Security that aims to strengthen core emergency management capacities by adopting strategies, setting priorities, and implementing activities to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats


CDC helped develop a National Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan for border points of entry


Global health security investments and decades of global cooperation and support for outbreak response have built strong foundations upon which to address the coronavirus pandemic. The technical expertise gained in the control of HIV, TB, and malaria, the eradication of polio, and the preparation for influenza and other pandemic diseases has strengthened public health expertise in Nigeria. CDC provides strategic direction to the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and also collaborates with multilateral partners.

CDC Nigeria supports COVID-19 surveillance and epidemiology, emergency response operations, case management, laboratory systems, risk communication, and vaccine deployment. CDC supported the establishment and running of the National and state-level Emergency Operation Centers (EOC).

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In 2021 Nigeria performed nearly 15,000 daily COVID-19 tests after CDC led the development of laboratory strategy documents and network expansion to over 145 labs

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CDC played a leading role in developing the Incidence Action Plan that guides COVID-19 operations in Nigeria

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CDC developed digital user-friendly training materials to support COVID-19 infection control efforts among 1,000 frontline healthcare workers


CDC helped create a state response coordination mechanism to enable weekly virtual meetings among the 52 national rapid response teams

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CDC supported the COVID-19 Community of Practice for Nigeria and the West Africa Region. These efforts benefited thousands of healthcare workers in COVID-19 case management


CDC helped develop the COVID-19 National Deployment and Vaccination Plan in Nigeria

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CDC supported serosurvey studies in 8 states and the Federal Capital Territory to provide accurate data on the COVID-19 burden in Nigeria

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CDC supported the design and implementation of a walk-in testing center and a COVID-19 response toolkit for national and state-level EOCs and emergency response teams


CDC provided a platform to enable 108 treatment facilities to share weekly best practices on case treatment

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By 2021 CDC helped conduct risk communication and community awareness activities across all 36 states in Nigeria


Engaged religious leaders on risk communication and case reporting by funding the implementation of a “Messages of Hope” project

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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 reach the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AID (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 supports the expansion of diagnostic services for TB and COVID-19 testing and infection prevention and control for patients and healthcare workers.

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More than 5 million people tested for HIV from Oct. 2019 to Sept. 2020. Nearly 200,000 were HIV-positive and received treatment

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CDC Nigeria supported 62 percent of the people receiving HIV treatment through PEPFAR from Oct. 2019 to Sept. 2020

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More than 1 million people living with HIV were screened for TB from Oct. 2019 to Sept. 2020. Over 5,000 had confirmed TB infection and started treatment

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Eightfold increase in the weekly number of newly diagnosed HIV-positive people who started treatment from May 2019 to Sept. 2020

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All PEPFAR supported facilities in Nigeria now use TB BASICS. This successful infection control program prevents healthcare-associated TB infection and other airborne infections


Nearly 25,000 orphans and vulnerable children received one or more HIV/TB services through CDC implementing partners by the end of September 2020

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More than 1,000 health facilities use electronic medical record system as of June 2021

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PEPFAR-supported TB prevention sites increased, with a yield of 92% TB preventive therapy completion rate by September 2020


CDC Nigeria helped establish a national repository of de-identified patient records for over 1.4 million HIV patients. The system provides data for program decision-making

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Assisted in the establishment of a health information exchange system between 300 facilities in 11 PEPFAR supported labs for automated and instant viral load result transmission

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 assistance to establish five Africa CDC Regional Collaborating Centers. The West African Regional Collaborating Centre is located in Nigeria. Africa CDC and the regional centers, with assistance from CDC, established the Surveillance and Response Unit and develop workforce capacity.

CDC Nigeria supports the National Public Health Institute (NPHI). This agency integrates public health functions, coordinates across sectors, and accounts for public health resources. CDC strengthens the NPHI technical capacities that enable Nigeria to pivot 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
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Nigeria can activate its public health Emergency Operations Center (EOC) within 2 hours of receiving an early warning or information of an event

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CDC helped establish 36 sub-national public health EOCs across the 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria, all of which are linked to the National EOC

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CDC developed a Public Health Emergency Management Professional Development Program

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CDC established an NPHI Center of Excellence program for the Nigeria Center for Disease Control

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CDC developed core laboratory diagnostic capacity to test for monkeypox, Yellow Fever, and cerebrospinal meningitis


CDC developed national guidelines and protocols for response to different disease outbreaks, including a national multi-hazard preparedness plan


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

Provided 22 million doses of malaria prevention medicine to pregnant women, 9 million doses to children, and 129 million treatment doses at health facilities and communities in 2020

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Provided 62 million rapid test kits to diagnose and treat patients for malaria and other fevers in 2020

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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 percent of all households, twice the rate before the intervention

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Every year, vaccines prevent 2-3 million global deaths among children younger than age 5. Still, 1 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:

  • Campaign planning
  • Program monitoring and supervision
  • Acute flaccid paralysis surveillance
  • Outbreak investigations of polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Outreach to nomadic populations
  • Research
  • Data management

CDC contributed to Nigeria’s wild poliovirus free certification and a 20% increase in routine immunization coverage from 2015 to 2019

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CDC provided COVID-19 vaccine deployment, oversight, and distribution plans across all 36 states and the federal capital territory

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CDC helped implement a national software system for routine immunization and SMS texting system for weekly reporting in 18 high-risk states

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New oral poliovirus vaccine introduced to reduce vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 cases

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By July 2021, over 45 million children were vaccinated with the new oral poliovirus vaccine (nOPV2) across 18 states

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Between January and March 2021, nine campaigns took place to vaccinate over 6 million children under age 5 with the oral polio vaccine that works specifically against type 2 polio virus only

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CDC established surveillance systems to monitor adverse events following immunization (AEFI), and adverse events of special interest (AESI)


Over 19 million children reached with measles vaccines for the first time since 2017

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CDC supported the expansion of the National Stop Transmission of Polio Program to improve the delivery of routine immunization services across northern states to reach missed or under-vaccinated children


CDC led geospatial tracking to help get vaccines for polio and other diseases to children in remote areas

CDC Staff in Nigeria
  • 13 U.S. Assignees
  • 91 Locally Employed
Nigeria at a Glance
  • Population: > 200,963,000
  • Per capita income: $5,040
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 56 / M 54 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 67/1,000 live births

Sources: World Bank 2019, Population Reference Bureau

Nigeria Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. Neonatal disorders
  2. Malaria
  3. Diarrheal diseases
  4. Lower respiratory infection
  6. Ischemic heart disease
  7. Stroke
  8. Congenital defects
  9. Tuberculosis
  10. Meningitis

Source: GBD Compare 2019, Nigeria

Page last reviewed: September 9, 2021
Content source: Global Health