HEALTH SECURITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAM STRENGTHENING
Building on the NFELTP foundation and over a decade of operation in Nigeria, AFENET’s programs are hinged on strengthening (through capacity building)
and technically supporting federal and state governments in epidemic as well as other priority public health problems surveillance, prevention, investigation and control. Our core competence areas are
AFENET provides technical support to government in Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs), strategic planning, policy and guidelines development
Establishment of state level Public Health Emergency Operations Centres (PHEOCs).
AFENET provided technical support to NCDC in supporting state governments to establish state level PHEOCs across 20 states. The support included developing the framework, guidelines, TORs as well as training of sub-national teams on incident management system.
Support to National EOC at NCDC.
AFENET provides technical support to national EOC at NCDC which is saddled with the responsibility of coordinating disease outbreak response activities in the country. AFENET staff serve on several Technical Working Groups across surveillance, Risk Communication, Infection Prevention and Control, Research and development pillars at the national EOCs. AFENET also supports training efforts and provides surge capacity for outbreak response.
Support to the development and implementation of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS).
Through the NCDC Implementation Support Unit project funded by Resolve To Save Lives, AFENET has seconded staff to the NCDC that provided technical support in the development of the NAPHS and continue to support its implementation through support to Technical Working Groups, training as well coordination of Monitoring and Evaluation.
Support to RI Coordinating Centers at National, State and LGA levels
AFENET Nigeria, a major partner in the RI program, supported the NPHCDA during the inauguration of the National Emergency Routine Immunization Coordinating Center (NERICC) to strengthen RI leadership and coordination, improve detection and swift resolution of RI gaps and increase outreach services especially in very low performing states. AFENET Nigeria supported the NERICC team to develop TOR for the replication of the Emergency coordination center at the State (SERICC) and LGA (LERICC) levels with AFENET State and LGA staff also providing technical support at these levels in the AFENET supported states and the nation in general. AFENET Nigeria has continued to support the development, implementation and monitoring of innovative strategies to revamp the RI performance at the national and in the AFENET supported States/LGAs and the nation in general through these Emergency RI Coordinating Centers.
Support to National Polio emergency Operation Center (NEOC)
The Polio EOC was established in 2012 when NPEEP 2012 identified management and technical surge capacity as strategic priorities for the Nigerian Polio Program. AFENET keyed into these national priorities and deployed staff to support the National EOCs and State EOCs functioning in various working groups including Operations, Polio Surveillance, Nomadic and Data Working Groups. Staff supported development and review of many guidelines and SOPs to guide implementation of activities.
AFENET Nigeria has been involved in the national RI space since inception of the NSTOP in 2012 saddled with the responsibility to provide high quality and culturally competent technical field support staff in high-risk areas to implement the Polio Eradication Emergency Plan and Polio Eradication Initiative accountability framework. AFENET Nigeria provided visibility and ensured inclusion of the nomadic/migrant and underserved communities in routine and supplemental immunization planning and implementation through the conduct of enumeration and consistent follow up by dedicated field officers especially in neglected areas of the communities. Till date, AFENET Nigeria has continued to support the immunization program at the National, State and LGA levels with dedicated and resilient staff providing technical support and facilitating implementation of routine immunization and supplementary immunization activities including the accountability framework.
AFENET is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health in on an initiative called Communication for Education (C4E). The initiative focuses on strengthening health promotion efforts across priority diseases and public health challenges. In addition, AFENET support health promotion efforts through its programs in polio, malaria, HIV, Non-communicable diseases.
AFENET surveillance goals are aligned with the global, regional and country specific public health surveillance goals. Since inception in 2008, AFENET Nigeria supports the Federal and State government ministries of health, NPHCDA and the NCDC to increase the precision associated with surveillance activities and reports to ensure early detection of new infections and monitoring of trends is assured. AFENET strengthens the training within the public health system to provide experts in surveillance implementation for specific disease eradication and or elimination programs. Specifically, AFENET supports:
- Development and deployment of novel surveillance tools – SORMAS for the EBOLA outbreak response and current national surveillance tool for Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR); Electronic System for Immunization data, RI module on DHIS2.
- Development and review of surveillance guidelines- IDSR guideline, Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) guideline
- Capacity building at the subnational level for surveillance of priority diseases including HIV, TB, Malaria, Polio and epidemic prone diseases.
- Strengthening of human resource for surveillance of priority diseases including emerging diseases at the national, state and LGA levels through deployment of highly competent surveillance personnel. AFENET team has been involved in the development and implementation of innovative approaches to eradicate poliomyelitis. We have been able to conduct immunization and surveillance activities to target populations in nomadic/mobile/riverine, hard-to-reach, underserved, international border and security compromised areas. Enumeration of target population among nomadic population including mapping of nomadic routes are activities AFENET has carried out. We provided technical and financial support to conduct household-based micro-planning and enumeration for immunization target population across the 36 states and FCT. Using GIS, we have been able to estimate the unreached population and determine the habitation status of settlements in the conflict affected North East zone. AFENET is also involved in the deployment of critical human resources to provide technical support and supportive supervision for scheduled surveillance activities and this helped to advance the journey to polio eradication.
Laboratory capacity strengthening is a priority of the NFELTP and through this program, the laboratory track has trained several laboratory professionals who are placed in leadership positions across several states, contributing to laboratory ensuring robust systems at national and state level. In addition, AFENET directly supports laboratory strengthening efforts at the National level to ensure timely detection of pathogens through a staff secondment initiative.
AFENET through its various programs and project, e.g., NFELTP, HIV Program, NSTOP, NCDC Implementation Support Unit provided surge capacity for outbreak investigation and response across priority diseases in the human health and animal health sector.