COVID-19 : Sustainable health security funding ‘ll prevent future outbreak- NCDC DG

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The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has urged Nigerian government to ensure sustainable financing for health security to avoid more disease outbreak in Nigeria.

He said government at all levels needed to know that health security financing was not a task done only when there was an outbreak but a fund in preparedness

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu stated this while addressing journalists on Thursday shortly after defending the 2021 budget of NCDC in the National Assembly Abuja

NCDC DG explained that the agency previously advised Nigerians on the need to prepare for the type of the pandemic that happened this year,unfortunately nobody heeded to the warning.

He said: “More than ever before,Nigerians have come to understand why it is important to invest in preparedness.
“We have seen a situation whereby the entire Nigeria economy come to standstill because of a single infectious disease.
“We want to prevent that from happening again and only way we can do that is to invest in human being,resources,laboratory and everything we set up to protect ourselves,,so that we can get on with our lives.

“At NCDC,we don’t want to be agency that stops people from living, we want to be agency that enables businesses, allows people to attend functions and live normal life and the only way we can do this is by investing in preparedness,so we better prepared for the emergency we are facing

“So, we appeal to National Assembly to support stable ,sustainable and substantial funding for health security,and that is the only way we can protect ourselves for more outbreak into the future.
Chairman Senate committee on primary Heath Care and communicable disease Senator Chukwuka Utazi(middle) and Deputy chairman Senator Sadiq Suleiman during the 2021 Budget defence of the committee and it’s Agencies at the National Assembly on Thursday 12 November 2020
Speaking on the 2020 budget Dr. Ihekweazu said “Everybody understands that the country is a very challenging place,We all need to be moderate in expectations in terms of  budgetary circle,

He however, commended the Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable disease for the robust working relationship the agency was enjoying with the Nigeria Senate, despite that the agency was just established

 

The Director General, added that the harmonious working relationship with the National Assembly resulted to the feats achieved by NCDC in tackling COVID-19 pandemic and other related diseases

“Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been having working relationship with the Senate Committee on Primary Heath Care and Communicable Disease.

“I recall that it was this Committee that pushed the bill that eventually became an Act establishing NCDC

He added “The committee has really supported us,and has been appropriated for us,facilitated the release of funds especially in emergency mode ,which we now used to respond to the pandemic”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and communicable Disease,Senator Chukwuka Utazi charged Nigerian Scientists to find an end to the COVID-19 pandemic,he decried a situation where by Nigeria always depend on foreign countries when we have scientists in Nigeria that can find solutions to the pandemic.

He therefore commended NCDC for living up to expectations, urged the agency to put end to the pandemic.

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