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Nigeria: Strengthening Epidemic Preparedness

Nigeria has made great strides to improve the nation’s health security over the past three years since the government formally established the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in 2018. Funding to the NCDC has since doubled from US $4.7 million in fiscal 2019 to US $9.4 million in fiscal 2022, enabling the agency to build systems across the country and reduce Nigeria’s vulnerability to communicable diseases. Additionally, government ministries, departments and agencies with International Health Regulation (IHR 2005) responsibilities received US $3.5 million in new funding for fiscal 2022, an 89 percent increase for a total allocation of US $3.9 million.

The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) has supported these efforts since 2018 through a targeted advocacy campaign working with civil society organizations, government leaders and local partners – including National Health Watch, Legislative Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL) and BudgIT – to advance epidemic preparedness as a national priority. GHAI and our partners built public and political demand for epidemic preparedness and implementation of the country’s National Action Plan for Health Security.

GHAI and our partners have successfully replicated this advocacy model in Nigeria’s most-populous states, Lagos and Kano – with both states creating budget lines for epidemic preparedness and response  within the first year of program activity. Lagos created the Public Health Epidemics and Emergencies budget line with US $12.2 million allocated for fiscal 2022. Kano created the Epidemic Preparedness and Response (EPR) budget line in 2020 for fiscal 2021, with funding increased by 33 percent for fiscal 2022 totaling US $960,000. Local-level allocations went up by 50 percent for a total budget of US $321,000 in fiscal 2022.

We applaud the Government of Nigeria for recognizing the importance of epidemic preparedness and response to protect the livelihood and health of Nigerians.

Funding for this program provided by Resolve to Save Lives.