Nigeria developing plan for health security

Asokoro district hospital
Asokoro district hospital

As a signatory to the International Health Regulations (IHR), Nigeria has begun the final process towards the development of a National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS).

This process has been coordinated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners.

The NCDC Director, Chikwe Ihekweazu, who disclosed this in a statement he signed on Thursday, said the agency last month hosted a final five-day workshop in Abuja to complete the development of the plan.

“This is the first time Nigeria will have a multi-sectoral action plan that defines roles and timelines of stakeholders across the country in ensuring health security,” Mr Ihekweazu said in his remark at the event as quoted in the statement.

“Notably, over a year after this process, several gaps identified from the evaluation have already been addressed; given the strong political commitment to strengthening health security in Nigeria.

“For the first time we are bringing key stakeholders from different agencies and sectors including agriculture, uniformed services and others to develop a plan on how Nigeria can better protect its populace against outbreaks of infectious diseases.”

According to the World Health Agency, Planning for Health Security is an activity of Member States to develop their National Action Plan for Health Security with the support of WHO.

The activity includes acknowledging, coordinating and collaborating on different areas of health security, defining national stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities, and consolidating the information into a single comprehensive national action plan.

The plan will help minimise the consequences associated with significant health incidents. The purpose of the plan is to provide coordination between
separate organisations in order to reduce the social and economic cost in the case of a significant health incident.

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