Nigerian agency emerges one of 7 winners to strengthen data use in response to COVID-19

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, in collaboration with the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL) and partners…

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, in collaboration with the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL) and partners on Friday, June 25, convened the inception meeting of the Data4COVID19 Challenge in Nigeria.The Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge is a data challenge hosted by I’Agence francaise de development, AFD, Expertise France, and The GovLab; as part of efforts to better understand and respond to the vast range of issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences across Africa through innovative use of data.

The NCDC said in a statement on Friday in Abuja that in response to the call for innovative proposals made between December 15, 2020, and February 5, 2021; 83 proposals covering 22 countries were received out of which Nigeria represented by the NCDC in partnership with CMUL emerged as one of seven awardees.

It noted that a critical aspect of the response to public health emergencies is the need to provide accurate data and real time information to decision makers and the public. 

“This has been evident in Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where data is used to understand transmission patterns of virus, anticipate demand on our health services, manage the national supply chain as well as inform risk communication strategies.

“In Nigeria, the Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge is aimed at analysing existing data on COVID-19 to understand the social, economic, and political factors that influence knowledge and perception of COVID-19 among Nigerians,” it said. 

The project, according to the statement, will also inform how these knowledge and perception shape population behavior, policy and response to COVID-19 safety protocols. 

“The Nigerian project is titled “Understanding facilitators and barriers to compliance with non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 preventive measures in Nigeria”.

“The aim of the meeting is to introduce the project to critical stakeholders and give them the opportunity to share their insights and concerns about COVID-19 that can be addressed through the project’s objectives.

“In addition to providing African researchers with resources to implement data driven projects in response to COVID-19, the project presents an opportunity to better understand the unexpectedly moderate COVID-19 situation in the region and share lessons to strengthen global pandemic preparedness.

“Our focus as Nigeria’s National Public Health Institute is to sustain the national response to COVID-19 to keep our cases low. We remain committed to building on lessons learnt to move beyond being recipients to active participants in the science and innovation of global preparedness and response to infectious disease threats,” it added,

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