The FG/WHO National New Vaccine Surveillance Team Visits UNTH Ituku -Ozalla
The National New Vaccine Surveillance Team visited the UNTH surveillance site on Wednesday 26th June 2019. The team comprises the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), World Health Organization (WHO), State Ministries of Health, and New Vaccines Surveillance Site Teams from Abuja, Enugu, Ilorin, Bauchi, Zaria, Benin, and Lagos.
Welcoming the team of experts to UNTH, on behalf of the CMD, the Enugu Site Coordinator and Principal Investigator, Prof Beckie Tagbo, informed the team that the Hospital Management was aware of the visit but was involved in a 3-day hospital management retreat and that the CMD pledged his full support for the surveillance team.
She, along with her team led the visitors around the hospital for first-hand observation of surveillance activities in the hospital.
Prof Beckie Tagbo welcoming the team of experts from NPHCDA and WHO
The WHO National surveillance officer, Dr. Ayodeji Isiaka in his comments noted that the Enugu surveillance site’s best practices were excellent and worthy of emulation by other sentinel sites.
The Deputy Director, Disease Control and Immunization (DCI), Dr. Kabiru Yusuf, was full of praise for the UNTH Enugu Site in terms of the quality of surveillance clinical and lab practices and procedures.
He pledged the Federal Government’s support for the Site.
Others who spoke at the occasion were Dr. Erinne, WHO State Coordinator, Dr. Lawal Namadi (NPHCDA Abuja), Site Coordinators, State Epidemiologists, and WHO State Coordinators from Enugu, Ilorin, Bauchi, Zaria, Benin, and Lagos.
The visitors were led through the Children Emergency Wards, the Virology, and the Bacteriology laboratories, going through the surveillance procedures in UNTH. The team also visited the Institute of Child Health (ICH), UNTH where they observed the surveillance data management processes for which they were highly impressed.
The host, Prof Beckie Tagbo, and her team at the ICH UNTH pioneered Rotavirus surveillance in Nigeria. She is the Principal Investigator and leader of the team that established Rotavirus surveillance for the first time in Nigeria. Their untiring efforts placed Nigeria for the first time on the WHO Global Map of Rotavirus data reporting countries of the world in 2010. Since then they have maintained ongoing surveillance till date as well as established and mentored all other sites in the country.
Her team which is domiciled at the Institute of Child Health UNTH is made up of team members from several hospitals within and outside Enugu.
The Nigerian National New Vaccines Surveillance Team has been functional for several years. The Team Consists of;
• The surveillance unit of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Abuja, the driver of the program.
• The surveillance unit of WHO Country Office Abuja
• The 6 Sentinel Surveillance Site Teams at Enugu, Ilorin, Bauchi, Zaria, Benin, and Lagos.
• The corresponding State Ministries of Health (State epidemiologist)
• The corresponding State/Zonal NPHCDA offices
• The corresponding State/Zonal WHO offices
The CMD’s and UNTH Management’s efforts are indisputablely successful.