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How stuff works: How NCDC Works

What is the NCDC and what do they do?

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is the premier and foremost public health institute in the mold of institutes like it around the world. The institution’s main goal is to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of communicable diseases in Nigeria. The agency was created in 2011 in the wake of the H1N1 (Avian Flu) epidemic of 2009/10.


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The institute mandate is to coordinate surveillance systems to collect, compile, analyze, and elucidate data on diseases relevant to Nigeria.

The agency is directly under the direction of the Federal Ministry of Health.

How was it established?

The agency was clandestinely set up but separating certain units and departments out of the Federal Ministry of Health such as Epidemiology Division, Avian Flu Project and Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme.


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Interestingly, while the NCDC has more than earned it reputation in the consciousness of Nigerians in the heyday of the Ebola pandemic, the bill establishing and ratifying its existence did not get the president’s signature until 2018 having been placed before the National Assembly in 2015.

Who heads the NCDC?

The director is Chikwe Ihekweazu, a professor of public health and professional in that regard. Interestingly, a centre for disease control was his brainchild (not solely however). He has been director since 2016.

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David Okwara

Some call me David. Others, Emerie. Others, (unfortunate fellows) Biggie. I like to think that I have sense and that is why I write too. Otherwise, I draw and paint and sing (in the bathroom) and love to make people laugh. I love to understand how things work and that’s why I love DIY videos and YouTube of course. Follow me on Twitter @EmerieOkwara

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