Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, 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.
Adetifa made the revelation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday on his two-year anniversary in office.
He said dedicated funding for the implementation of 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 relationships with different states and invest in subnational work to enhance health security in the country.
”We need to prioritize 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 prioritize 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.
”Lagos, Kano and Gombe state have dedicated budgets for emergency preparedness and response, while others face resource constraints,” he said.
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 partnership across various sectors and active participation from the public,” he said.