Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has said that it has programmed $1.1 million, which is equivalent of ₦427 million, to upgrade and expand the capacity of the nine Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) for COVID-19 to strengthen the response in Nigeria in line with priorities set by Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, disclosed this when he joined the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, to virtually inaugurate an EOC for the state, which she said has been equipped with support from the American people to track and control the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
In a statement issued yesterday by the US Mission in Abuja, the ambassador added that Cross River is the first of the nine states to receive the EOC upgrades.
Leonard said: “In line with priorities set by NCDC, the USAID programmed $1.1 million (₦427 million) to upgrade and expand the capacity of the nine EOCs to strengthen the COVID-19 response in Nigeria.
“The upgraded centres are now equipped as operational digital situation and communication rooms that power and coordinate the state COVID-19 response and other disease outbreaks, utilising data integration, warehousing and visualisation to provide state officials transparent and real-time information on COVID-19.
“With the inauguration of these EOCs, Nigeria can better coordinate the COVID-19 outbreak response and surveillance activities, as well as any other emergent disease outbreaks or disasters. They will help turn the tide of the pandemic within their states, ultimately the country, and flatten the COVID-19 curve.”
The upgrades, she said, have helped seamlessly and creatively transform previous investments and experiences to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 response by leveraging the existing PEPFAR, tuberculosis, and other health investments.
Other states supported by USAID for the upgrades are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Kano, Niger, and Oyo..