In a ceremony held on Friday, the second cohort of the Public Health Emergency Management Professional Certification Program—25 state epidemiologists—graduated.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control worked together to conduct the two-week intermediate-level professional certification training, according to a press release from the US Consulate General’s Public Affairs Section.
Speaking at the ceremony, US Consul General Will Stevens emphasized the US Government’s commitment to and prioritization of Public Health Emergency Management as Nigeria works to meet the requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and achieve the goals of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) by 2024 by enhancing workforce development, disease surveillance, emergency response, and laboratory capacity.
The consul general emphasized how the US and Nigeria have a strategic cooperation to improve health security and combat disease threats. Through programs and training that improve illness prevention, detection, and response, the US Government is dedicated to increasing the health and wellness of Nigerians, he continued.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effects, according to US-CDC Nigeria Country Director Dr. Mary Boyd, “illustrate now more than ever the importance of ensuring public health systems can adequately detect, prevent, respond to, and recover from health emergencies, particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threaten to overwhelm routine capabilities.”
The US Government supports pandemic preparedness in Nigeria and around the world through the PHEM PC Program. It offers specialized training in public health emergency management and operations, as well as other essential preparedness and response skills, such as crisis and emergency risk communication. It also provides first responders, watch managers, state epidemiologists, emergency managers, and other public health experts.