COVID-19 PANDEMIC: AFENET Nigeria Responds

Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP) response to COVID-19 outbreak Nigeria

Nigeria recorded its first COVID 19 case on February 27, 2020. COVID-19 has since been declared a global pandemic. The national effort to contain and manage the epidemic in Nigeria is led by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) in partnership with development partners including the WHO, CDC, and AFENET. Graduates and residents of the Nigeria FELTP have been involved at the strategic, technical and operational levels in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. At in country-level coordination, planning, and monitoring, NFELTP graduates have been assigned key strategic positions. The positions occupied include:

  1. National Team lead
  2. Technical assistant, Presidential Task Force for COVID-19.
  3. Lead, Pre-Incident technical group
  4. Deputy Incident Manager at the National Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
  5. Laboratory Pillar lead
  6. Head of operations at the EOC
  7. Epidemiology Surveillance pillar lead
  8. Risk Communication Pillar lead
  9. Epidemiology and Surveillance Pillar lead at Lagos State EOC
  10. Epidemiology and Surveillance Lead in Ogun State EOC

At the operational level, 105 Epidemiologists have been deployed to 17 states in this response to serve in different capacities – Point of Entry surveillance and monitoring of persons of interest, members of RRT supporting IPC, surveillance and contact tracing, risk communication, and coordination. Some serve as the RRT team leads. We have some graduates service as pillar leads in the National and Subnational EOCs, deputy incident managers in Subnational EOCs, members of Presidential Taskforce at the National level. Nine epidemiologists are supporting the National EOC with the State Operations Management. They help the different pillars quickly resolve challenges arising from the states in a quick and coordinated manner.

In addition, residents and graduates are actively involved in the operationalization of real-time electronic surveillance and outbreak management using SORMAS. Furthermore, residents are supporting primary screening using self-reporting forms and data capture using ODK as well as being involved in the production of algorithms and SOPs. Secondary screening is also being done through case investigation.

Other Areas AFENET has been involved include:

  1. Logistics and operations
  2. Risk communication
  3. IT Support
NFELTP Residents participating in Training of LGA Social Mobilization Officers on Risk Communication and Community engagement on COVID 19 in Oyo State
Amuwo Odofin contact tracing team comprising NFELTP residents and DSNOs
A 2-day simulation exercise implemented by WAHO in collaboration with AFENET and AfricaCDC to strengthen regional preparedness and readiness capacities to COVID-19 pandemic in West Africa.