NIDS Alarmed over Increase in Infectious Diseases in Nigeria

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.Tasks government on preventive interventions

Martins Ifijeh
Members of the Nigerian Infectious Diseases Society (NIDS) have raised alarm over the increase of infectious diseases in Nigeria and its effect on morbidity and mortality in the country.
It said as one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria , infectious diseases require urgent but sustainable preventative interventions by government at all levels.

NIDS, a professional association of all persons with interest in prevention and control of infectious diseases in Nigeria noted that, healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic infections were rapidly emerging as public health threats in Nigeria.

The association stated these in a communique issued after its 5th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference held recently in Abuja.

In the key resolutions signed by NIDS President, Prof. Abdulrazaq Habib and the General Secretary, Dr. Mahmod Dalhat, the association expressed concern over persistent dearth of adequate resources, health data, research and health policies as well as well-equipped diagnostic facilities to inform decision making and strategy in infectious diseases prevention and control in the country.

The association commended the efforts and commitments of the federal government, state ministries of health, government agencies and Non-Government Organisations in the prevention and control and reaffirmed its strong commitment to advocacy, research, training and partnership toward the prevention and control of infectious diseases in the country.

“In accordance with international best practices, governments at all levels ought to improve funding and human resources for health, as well as strengthen surveillance and diagnostic facilities to guarantee effective prevention and control of infectious diseases, monitor antimicrobial resistance and emerging/re-emerging infections in Nigeria,” it noted.

While urging the federal government to immediately implement the National Health Act, which makes provision for funding of various health activities related to infectious diseases, in addition to establishment and implementation of quality standards for healthcare delivery in Nigeria; the group recommended mandatory implementation of infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship programmes in all health facilities as well as controlling/ limiting over-the-counter use of antibiotics in Nigeria through enabling legislations.

The NIDS further advocated country-wide expansion of immunisation against bacterial diseases such as pneumococcal conjugate vaccines to mitigate antibiotic resistance.

In the prevention of zoonotic infections and antimicrobial resistance, the association advocated improved collaboration between veterinarians, human health professionals, and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector, including animal husbandry.

It advised the federal government to strengthen the one-health approach through establishing a Zoonotic Diseases Unit comprising above stakeholders within an MDA. “Given the high burden of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis in the country, NIDS strongly advocates nation-wide expansion of access to quality testing, provision of Anti-Retroviral Therapy, Artemisinin Combination Therapy, anti-tuberculosis treatment, care and proven preventive interventions,” it further suggested.

(NIDS) is a professional association of all persons with interest in prevention and control of infectious diseases in Nigeria. It held its 5th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference (AGSM) from 25th to 26th 2016 at Ayallah Hotels, Abuja. The theme of the conference was Healthcare-Associated Infections, while the sub-themes were Antimicrobial Resistance and Zoonotic Infections.