COVID-19: Scaling-up Contact Tracing at the State Level
Nigeria is currently one of several countries responding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The country has traversed through all four phases of transmission categorisation from “no case to single case to cluster of cases and currently, the community transmission phase”. Through all these phases, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to lead the national public health response and provide evidence-based guidelines and protocols for the response, in line with the global best practices.
Being a densely populated country with about 200 million people across 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs), the susceptibility to a virus such as SARS-CoV-2 is high. In addition to other socio-economic factors, this has significantly contributed to the ongoing community transmission in the country.
To address this, the NCDC has revised the national contact tracing strategy in line with evolving knowledge of the disease and as part of continuous engagement with the states, is supporting the implementation of this strategy at the subnational level.
On the 17th of June, 2017, the national COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) convened a virtual meeting with relevant stakeholders in various states. This was an interactive session with State Epidemiologists, State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNOs), representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). The objective was to discuss strategies for increasing case detection; scaling-up contact tracing; increasing contact to case ratio and so on. The meeting also provided a unique opportunity to discuss identified challenges and how partners can work with states to address these gaps.
Some of the challenges highlighted at the meeting include:
Stigmatisation and misinformation affecting surveillance activities in many states
Inadequate understanding of the guidelines on contact tracing and strategies for scale up of case finding and sample collection
Delay in the adoption of strategies to increase case finding
Inadequate resources to support contact tracing and active case search
The general consensus was the need for intensive risk communication and community engagement (RCCE), psychosocial support for suspected cases; engagement of religious/community leaders; increased resources mobilisation for contact tracing and other surveillance activities; and decentralisation of surveillance and sample collection activities to the LGAs.
As we continue to join forces in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria, we urge our state colleagues to prioritise contact tracing activities and leverage existing partners’ support and resources. The NCDC remains committed to supporting states to enhance their response to COVID-19.
Summary of Incidents
Information for this disease was retrieved from the Technical Working Group and Situation Reports
Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for this disease is reported for confirmed cases only
Information for this disease was retrieved from IDSR 002 data
CFR for this disease is reported for total cases i.e. suspected + confirmed
Information for sentinel influenza was retrieved from the laboratory