Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Nigeria on the 27th of February 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to employ diverse strategies to control the spread of the disease. As of the 23rd of March, 36 cases have been reported in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Ogun, Edo, Oyo and Ekiti states. The gradual increase in the number of states affected by COVID-19 makes it more pertinent to strengthen statelevel preparedness and response for the disease.
In addition to establishing treatment centres and molecular laboratories for testing, there is need to also build the capacity of states’ public health workforce for COVID-19. In line with this, the NCDC in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) is conducting a COVID-19 States Preparedness and Readiness Workshop in two phases.
The first workshop was conducted from 18th - 20th March 2020. This included participants (State Epidemiologists, DSNOs and WHO State Coordinators) from Akwa Ibom, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi,
Cross River, Borno, Edo, Jigawa, Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, Rivers, Yobe, Ogun and Lagos states. The next phase will accommodate participants from the remaining states.
The objectives of the workshop are to:
Ensure States use the Incident Management Systems (IMS) to respond to COVID-19 outbreak
Support states to develop their pre-Incident Action Plan (IAP) for COVID-19
Ensure states have effective risk communication mechanisms in place
An important outcome following the workshop was the development of the pre-IAP by all participants in attendance. The aim is to share this pre-IAP with their respective State Governments towards prompt establishment of structures and measures for enhanced state-level COVID-19 preparedness and response. We strongly urge all States Governments to expedite mobilisation of resources for the implementation of this pre-Incident Action Plan.
The NCDC will continue to support States to put in place measures to strengthen them for their health security.