The African Union (AU) has given the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (CDC) the clearance to host African CDC Regional Collaborating Centre.
With this development, Nigeria has become the hub of research and disease surveillance in West Africa and a regional collaborating centre for Africa.
This is the outcome of the findings of the African Union on site assessment of Nigeria CDC which was conducted by a team of experts last weekend.
While briefing the media on the outcome of its findings, the head of the delegation who is also the Director of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC), Ambassador Olawale Maiyegun, however, said that there are some gaps that needed to the filled.
One of the gaps, according to him, “is that it is not clear how the strong political commitment demonstrated by the federal government can be sustained. We want to see it being translated into sustained funding for the Nigeria CDC.
“We are satisfied and we believe that Nigeria, while rectifying the gaps can full take up this responsibility. It is a triple responsibility being a Nigeria CDC, a regional CDC and as well as a collaborating centre for the Africa CDC.”
He stressed that his team during its fact finding tour, discovered a very strong commitment on the part of the federal government of Nigeria and a legal framework which is being put together.
He, however, expressed optimism that such efforts as demonstrated by the government “will be made on the legal framework to reflect the regional dimension of the Nigeria CDC, which henceforth will not only be the Nigeria CDC but a regional one for West Africa and a regional collaborating centre for the Africa CDC. “
Maiyegun reiterated that: “We are happy to note that from what we have seen on ground that, indeed, Nigeria CDC can take those responsibilities that is about to the entrusted to it.
“However, as we look at some of the strength that they are bringing to the table, we found out that they are bringing very strong human resources, they have a very strong and powerful field epidemiological and laboratory training which is a very huge asset that will help facilitate the fulfillment of the core capacity of the international health regulation and we are very happy about this.
“As I said earlier, we note a very strong commitment of the federal government, but we hope that this commitment will be translated into proper funding and the funding we are referring to here is government continue to meet its obligation to the Nigeria CDC so that it can function, not just for Africa CDC because it is a commitment the Nigerian government has to the public health of Nigeria.