HEALTH SECURITY ASSESSMENT LAUNCHED BY FG

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The Nigerian federal government has initiated a second Joint External Evaluation (JEE) to assess the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (IHR). This voluntary multi-sectoral process is a key component of the IHR monitoring and evaluation framework.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) revealed that the evaluation involves a diverse team of experts evaluating the nation’s readiness and response capabilities across 19 technical areas, under the guidance of relevant government bodies.

According to the NCDC, the second phase of the joint evaluation began recently, focusing on appraising Nigeria’s health security capacity by assessing the country’s IHR prescribed core capacities. This evaluation will be completed by August 18, 2023.

Nigeria, building on its initial JEE, is one of the select countries opting for a second round of evaluation using the JEE 3.0 tools. This comprehensive and voluntary process includes experts assessing various aspects of a nation’s preparedness and response in coordination with government ministries and departments, highlighting the holistic and all-encompassing approach crucial for national health security. The NCDC, in accordance with the NCDC Act of 2018, takes the lead in coordinating IHR implementation for the country.

Following the 2018-2023 National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) implementation, the 2023 JEE will provide a platform for Nigeria to critically analyze its current status, track progress, identify new or persisting gaps, and uncover opportunities.

The insights gathered from this evaluation will play a pivotal role in shaping the 2023-2028 NAPHS, ensuring that prioritized actions are defined to guide interventions over the next five years. The external evaluators, a team of experts and partners, will validate scores obtained from the internal assessment conducted recently.

The external validation phase involves a thorough review of presentations, documents, policies, and systems in each technical area. Additionally, site visits will be conducted to national public health centres and institutes spanning the 19 technical areas. The validated scores will then be aggregated to determine Nigeria’s 2023 JEE score, reflecting the nation’s progress in detecting, assessing, reporting, and responding to public health events.

Emphasizing the government’s commitment to safeguarding citizens’ health and well-being, the NCDC concluded the statement. It is noteworthy that Nigeria’s first JEE, conducted in 2017 using the JEE 1.0 tool, garnered a readiness score of 39%. In response to identified gaps and recommendations from the 2017 evaluation, the 2018-2023 NAPHS was introduced to enhance health security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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