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Covid19 Infectious Disease Thought Leadership Series

COVID-19 Response in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Hybrid Approach is Needed - OpEd

The 2014 Ebola Virus outbreak in West Africa wreaked havoc on a number of already fragile states — Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the peak, people were lying dead in the streets and in their homes. It felt like the end of the world. No country wants a repeat of that […]

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Covid19 Infectious Disease Torchlight Series

At the frontlines of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response: The Laboratory

Ultra-low freezers hum and beep continuously in the biorespository room, supporting the non-stop diagnostic activities at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa, Abuja, on a relatively quiet Friday afternoon. This is one of the reference laboratories of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The laboratory is open 24 hours a day as […]

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Infectious Disease Thought Leadership Series

Coronavirus: Time to take social distancing seriously in Nigeria

The coronavirus pandemic is a crisis and the world is seeing the number of people affected increasing rapidly everyday. To control the spread of the virus, several measures have been implemented in different countries. ‘Social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ are phrases you might have heard more of recently and are two critical interventions being put in […]

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Infectious Disease Thought Leadership Series

While we were sleeping: Is Nigeria prepared for the next big global epidemic?

Editor’s Note: This week’s Thought Leadership piece comes from Dr. Ibrahim Mamadu, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO Nigeria. He asks whether Nigeria is prepared with its population of 200 million people to detect, respond and prevent possible epidemic outbreaks and analyses what the country needs to do, to guarantee the health security of the population. I […]

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Infectious Disease Torchlight Series

Next Generation Disease Detectives: The institutions training future Nigerian leaders to fight epidemics

The global health community received an important announcement on the 29th October 2019 – the beginning of the first-ever human trial for a possible Lassa fever vaccine. This move was championed by Themis Biomedicals and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), but the process leading up to this achievement started long ago. In January […]

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Infectious Disease Thought Leadership Series

Your meat could be killing You: Nigeria’s unhealthy Abattoirs

Editor’s Note: The Nigeria Health Watch team recently visited abattoirs in Suleja and Dei-Dei, to learn how they are managed and tease out public health lessons that Nigeria needs to consider in order to safeguard its citizens from infectious diseases.  Suleja, Niger State, is a populous, cosmopolitan town on the outskirts of Abuja, the nation’s […]

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Infectious Disease Thought Leadership Series

Lassa Fever: Why the Nigerian government should fund disease diagnostics for epidemic preparedness

Editor’s Note: Chidindu Mmadu-Okoli is a 2019 #PreventEpidemicsNaija Fellow at Nigeria Health Watch. In this piece she writes about a doctor whose Lassa Fever diagnosis was mis-handled and why funding disease diagnostics is critical for Nigeria’s health security efforts.  Thinking about death might have felt uncomfortable and scary but after a few weeks of being […]

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Infectious Disease Torchlight Series

Isolate, trace and respond: How a new emergency operations centre has improved outbreak response in Kebbi

Dr. Assad Hassan had just graduated from the prestigious Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP) when he received the urgent call to take on the role of State Epidemiologist to head up the newly established Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) in Kebbi State. He and his newly assembled team had probably never imagined […]

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Infectious Disease Torchlight Series

The fight against Lassa fever: Will it prepare Nigeria for future epidemics?

It is not unusual to talk about challenges and at the same time seek out available opportunities. Speaking about opportunities presented by Lassa fever can be likened to the biblical saying, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  Lassa fever is a disease that is endemic in Nigeria and has been a source of persistent outbreaks over […]

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Infectious Disease Torchlight Series

Isolate & Cure: Katsina could stop spread of outbreaks with isolation centres

A one-year-old child with suspected measles is lying in one of the small rooms outside the emergency paediatric unit of the General Hospital, close to the Emir’s palace in Katsina city. He was brought in two days ago and is surrounded by his mother and two other relatives. The boy is just one of the many […]