The Nigerian government needs to train more field epidemiologists to be able to face the daunting challenge of disease outbreaks within the country, an official via the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Bolu Omotayo, has said.
Mrs Omotayo made This kind of appeal at the 4th Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in addition to the Nigeria Field Epidemiology in addition to Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP) Annual Scientific Conference in Abuja.
Field epidemiologists are health professionals who work at the forefront of disease surveillance, response, in addition to control. They are often the backbone of disease control during outbreaks of infectious diseases in any country.
Mrs Omotayo urged the government to establish a standard health institution where field epidemiologists can be trained in order to strengthen the health security of the nation.
She said both material in addition to human resources are needed for disease control as health security transcends borders in addition to the country needs to be always prepared to tackle diseases outbreaks.
The NCDC/NFELTP conference attracts epidemiologists via around the planet. During the conference, the experts assess the impact of the profession on public health in addition to outbreak response in Nigeria in addition to globally.
The theme for the conference was: “Applied Epidemiology: Providing Evidence for Public Health Action”.
Mrs Omotayo also pleaded with the government to institutionalise the training as a means of achieving health security for the nation.
“There is usually room for improvement. The US – CDC has been supporting the country in field epidemiology training. With the numerous outbreaks in Nigeria, there is usually an opportunity to learn. although sustainability has become a big issue. Resources are also needed,” she said.
Giving the keynote address, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said field epidemiologists play a very crucial role within the interruption of wild poliovirus in addition to within the Ebola virus within the country.
Executive director Faisal Shuaib giving the keynote address
He said Nigeria needs to stop the politics within the health space in addition to give credence to appropriate professions.
Mr Shuaib said field epidemiologists were the ones who minimised the scourge of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigerian by conducting contact tracking in addition to creating sure no person who has been in contact with the victims were missed.
He also asked for the government to honour epidemiologists who lost their lives during the Ebola outbreak.
Epidemiologists are indispensable – minister
The Minister of State for Health, Adeleke Mamora, while appreciating the efforts of epidemiologists within the country said the government will intensify the item effort in providing health security for the nation.
Mr Mamora said applied epidemiologists are becoming more relevant in addition to crucial for public health action.
He said the sporadic annual outbreaks of communicable diseases within the country such as Lassa fever, yellow fever, monkeypox, measles, cholera in addition to different infectious diseases have made the item very critical for the government to improve on human resources for health.
“Perhaps more than we have previously realised, the planet views applied epidemiology as a critical function for public health action. the item is usually clear in which changing environment in addition to population dynamics, along with enhanced capability to detect infectious cases, are also increasing.