US CDC commemorates 20 years of critical disease surveillance, control in Nigeria

NIGERIA – The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has celebrated its 20th anniversary since its establishment in Nigeria.

The Nigeria country office was established in November 2001 to support the Government of Nigeria to improve disease surveillance systems, build institutional competencies and expand human resources for health capacities.

At the 20th anniversary event, the US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Kathleen FitzGibbon, joined CDC to celebrate the impact of CDC’s support to Nigeria’s health sector, stating that: “CDC’s work of saving lives is the most critical mission of the US Government in its support to Nigeria.”

She also described the CDC mission and staff as a clear evidence of the importance of health diplomacy in bilateral and multilateral relations.

The CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, also thanked the Nigeria team for their dedication and commitment to saving lives, improving the well-being of people in Nigeria, and charting a strong public health course for the future to build a healthier and safer Nigeria, the continent of Africa and the world.

She added that despite the challenges of the last several years, the over 100-member team in Nigeria has shown great resolve and accomplished remarkable successes in collaboration with the government and partners.

In her remarks, the Country Director, Dr. Mary Adetinuke Boyd, paid tribute to past leadership and recognized the staff and partners as the most critical asset for the agency.

She said the combined efforts of the government, CDC staff, and partners had made Nigeria one of CDC’s most prominent country offices that supports HIV and TB epidemic control, expands global health security, assists with malaria elimination and reinforces vaccine-preventable diseases.

Boyd said, “Since 2001, the collective work of the team has supported Nigeria to put over one million people living with HIV on life-saving treatment. In addition, it supported the government to eliminate wild poliovirus, advance towards malaria elimination and establish a robust public health institute that detects, prevents, and responds to disease outbreaks.”

CDC Nigeria is the country office of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), established in 2001, with a vision of public health excellence for healthy Nigerians.

The office is part of the U.S. Government Mission in Nigeria that supports the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), its department, agencies, states ministries of health and several key partners in developing, implementing, and evaluating disease response efforts and programmes contributing to Nigeria’s more robust public health infrastructure.

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