Ifedayo Adetifa, the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease and Prevention Control (NCDC), has called for increased budgetary allocation to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats in the country.
Mr Adetifa made the call in an interview in Abuja on Sunday on his second anniversary in office.
The director-general said dedicated funding for implementing health security will increase capacities in responding to public health threats.
The NCDC boss also noted the need to strengthen subnational support, considering the federated structure of the country.
“We must establish a robust relationship with different states and invest in subnational work to enhance health security in the country. We need to prioritise health. Health goes beyond capital projects – buildings and facilities. You need the human capital, equipment, training, and quality systems.
“Once we get the political leadership to properly prioritise health, then health will receive more funding. I believe that some state governments are committing quite a bit of their own budget to health. What we need to see is to make that a groundswell, that even more states are doing that, and that the national government is doing that,” Mr Adetifa explained.
The NCDC boss added, “Lagos, Kano, and Gombe states have dedicated budgets for emergency preparedness and response, while others face resource constraints.”
He also called for continuous surveillance and monitoring to identify and respond to diseases like Lassa fever as the country moves towards its season in November.
“Addressing healthcare challenges requires a collective effort from both the government and the people. It is not solely the responsibility of the NCDC but requires collaboration across various sectors and active participation from the public,” he said.