The long awaited Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, Innovations and Investment in Nigeria (CEPI-N) finally makes its debut

August 30th, 2018

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, Innovations and Investment in Nigeria (CEPI-N), a multi-stakeholder program anchored by Nigeria’s leading NGO in use of innovation to deepen development programmes the Innovations and Access to Development Initiative (IADI), has been long in coming if the feeling of industry watchers is anything to go by. The programme aims to draw on lessons from global health security to strengthen public health through support of policy change campaigns to improve health outcomes in Nigeria. This is because it posits that emerging infectious diseases have a latent power to cause great harm across the world if unchecked in populations and this is usually worse off in those in countries that are poorly prepared to deal with such new threats. The experience with the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa shows how devastating the effect of infectious diseases can in low income countries, where the health infrastructure and preparedness plans are at best insufficient to prepare for such.

“The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, Innovations and Investment in Nigeria (CEPI-N) is a programme which was created to provide an anchor civil society platform to advocate to government to strengthen its processes, systems, infrastructure and overall financing of this all important public health domain” stated Mohammed Bawuro Omar a Programme Associate with the West African Academy of Public Health (WAAPH). According to Mr Omar, “CEPI-N aims to push for the Nigeria health system to be able contain outbreaks at the earliest stages possible, protecting the populations most at risk, by ensuring the the strategies in the National Action Plan for Health Security are executed by both government and stakeholders. The success of CEPI-N and the lessons learnt can be scaled up across the region”

IADI’s cofounding partner on CEPI-N is WAAPH which seeks to enhance public health programmes in West Africa by building resilient health systems through strengthened primary health care systems that can prevent and respond to diseases , including epidemics. The CEPI-N will be serving as a nonstate strategic technical advisory and advocacy group and leader in advocating to government of Nigeria to develop, plan and implement the National Action Plan for Health Security as developed by country stakeholders under leadership of Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) , as the plan lists priority areas, including steps and actions to accelerate the implementation of International Health Regulation, and build core capacities in country.

IADI has explained that its core role is to serve as CEPI-N secretariat giving support through a CSO coordinating-mechanism would enhance enabling environment for strategic change, which is premised on the underlying principle that prudent investment in health security can augment the momentum towards achieving and maintaining quality Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing), this includes the specific attention for matters such as anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

Nigerian CSOs, academic institutions and other nonstate actors interested in being members of the CEPI-N partners should send a letter of expression to inovate2100@gmail.com and copy momar@publichealth-edu.ng