The Centre for Disease Control says it is poised to communicate more effectively with Nigerians by all means available.
The Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu made this known in Abuja while launching the agency’s new website: ncdc.gov.ng .
He said “one of the responsibilities of the agency is to communicate with the Nigerian people, communicate about the risk of diseases that we face, communicate to them on how they can protect these diseases. It is a responsibility that we at NCDC would take very seriously moving forward”.
Dr Ihekweazu also noted that ” Nigeria is a very communicative population. We will build on that opportunity to use all channels available to communicate with every member of our society.”
He also said that the essence of the website is for Nigerians to get first hand information on outbreaks of diseases and other health information on the move.
He said that the organization would hold training for its staff members outside Abuja to keep them abreast of latest technology and innovations.
Dr Ihekweazu also pointed out that the new website www.ncdc.gov.ng would be very interactive and urged Nigerians to embrace it and make it their own.
On the issue of data collection and distribution, the CEO said “data and evidence based decision making is at the heart what we do. So, one aspect I’m going to take more seriously is to support the States in training and ensuring the capacity of the people working at the local government level. We are working hard with our partners in that regard at the moment. The top of the food chain is only as good the people at the bottom of the pyramid. It is our responsibility to make sure that they are able to do the work.”
On the dry season and outbreaks of diseases, Dr Ihekweazu said that the agency was not relaxed.
” The work we do is very much like an insurance company, we don’t want emergencies but we can’t run away from it. When it’s quiet is when we are working the hardest, when we are looking at data, rainfall and other conditions that affect infectious diseases, “the CEO noted.
On his part, the Technical Adviser to the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Lawal Bakare, said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control hopes to showcase a strong corporate brand and fulfill its responsibility in risk communication.
Dr. Bakare said “this dual communication requires that we focus on the minute elements of brand building and communication for mitigating and responding to disease threats. This allows for the deployment of web technology for both functions at once”.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says it expects a feed back from Nigerians.