By Paul Obi in Abuja
Following Nigeria’s giant stride in containing epidemics like Ebola and Lassa Fever in recent times, the African Union (AU) has given her clearance to become African regional hub for disease surveillance and Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
Nigeria’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will act as the collaborating centre, which makes Nigeria the hub of research and disease surveillance in West Africa and a regional collaborating centre for Africa.
This came on the heels of the findings of the African Union on site assessment of Nigeria CDC which was conducted by a team of experts last week.
At a briefing on the outcome of its findings in Abuja, head of the delegation and Director of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC), Ambassador Olawale Maiyegun, explained that there are still some gaps that ought to be filled.
The Nigerian-born AU envoy told journalists that the problem with existing gaps “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.”