AU to establish disease control centre in Nigeria

Ifeoma Owoh, Lagos

The African Union(AU) has indicated interest in setting up a centre for African Centre for Disease Control in Nigeria.

Director of Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Olawale Maiyegun, disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.

He disclosed that the AU nominated five countries from the sub-regions of the continent to serve as Africa Centres for Disease Control.

The countries are Nigeria, Gabon, Egypt, Zambia and Kenya.

As a result of this development, a medical scientist from the University of Lagos, Dr Adeniji Adekoga, commended the AU saying the setting up of the Centre will benefit Nigerians in curbing malaria.

The director said that the idea was approved in 2015 with a mandate to each of the five sub-regions to nominate one country each as a collaborating centre.
“We are supposed to embark on a visit to see if the institutions being put up by these countries meet the criteria contained in article 26 of the ACDC statutes. “We are in Nigeria and our aim is to determine if the National Centres for Disease Control (NCDC), which serves as centre for disease control in West Africa, meets the criteria that are contained in the statutes. We are not comparing the countries with each other, rather we are evaluating and assessing them to ensure they meet every criteria,” Maiyegun said.

He said that AU would achieve the mandate through government commitment, human resources, infrastructure and funding.
Maiyegun further commended the efforts of the Nigerian government toward the realisation of the idea going by the commitment demonstrated by the minister of health, saying, “we were received by the minister of health for state who demonstrated clear knowledge on the subject matter.
“We also got calls from the honourable minister of health; we were not disappointed by the deep knowledge that he showed. It shows that they understood deeply the issues of public health and the reason for our coming.”

He said that with what the NCDC has on ground, it is believed that the agency can fully take on the triple functions of NCDC, Regional CDC for West Africa, as well as Africa Centre for Disease Control.

Confidence .O./NP