US CDC celebrates 20 years of saving lives in Nigeria

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has celebrated the 20th anniversary of its establishment in Nigeria.

A press statement by the mission, Wednesday, said, “The Nigeria country office was established in November 2001 to support the government of Nigeria to improve disease surveillance systems, build institutional competencies, and expand human resources for health capacities.

“At the 20th anniversary event, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Kathleen FitzGibbon, joined CDC to celebrate the impact of CDC’s support to Nigeria’s health sector.

She stated, “CDC’s work of saving lives is the most critical mission of the U.S. government in its support to Nigeria.”

In addition, she described the CDC mission and staff as clear evidence of the importance of health diplomacy in bilateral and multilateral relations.

Similarly, the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, also thanked the Nigeria team for their dedication and commitment to saving lives, improving the well-being of people in Nigeria, and charting a strong public health course for the future to build a healthier and safer Nigeria, the continent of Africa, and the world.

She added that despite the challenges of the last several years, the over 100-member team in Nigeria has shown great resolve and accomplished remarkable successes in collaboration with the government and partners.

In her remarks, the Country Director, Dr. Mary Adetinuke Boyd, paid tribute to past leadership and recognised the staff and partners as the most critical asset for the agency. She said the combined efforts of the government, CDC staff, and partners had made Nigeria one of CDC’s most prominent country offices that supports HIV and TB epidemic control, expands global health security, assists with malaria elimination, and reinforces vaccine-preventable diseases.

Dr. Boyd said: “Since 2001, the collective work of the team has supported Nigeria to put over one million people living with HIV on life-saving treatment.”

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