REVIEW PAPER: Emergency Preparedness in Health Institutions in Nigeria: Current Situation and Framework for Action

Adetoun A. Ejimele, Adesegun O. Fatusi

Abstract

Nigeria has faced an increasing number of disasters over the last decade including the outbreaks of infectious diseases, air pollution, natural disasters, communal and ethno-religious crises, and acts of terrorism. While Nigeria’s National Health Policy identifies public health emergency preparedness and response as a major policy thrust, with the goal of reducing the burden of public health emergencies, the 2019 Global Health Security Index shows that Nigeria, with a score of 12.5 out of 100, ranks very low in emergency preparedness and response planning. With the projection that Nigeria will likely experience more disasters in the future, it is important to review her current disaster risk reduction framework with particular reference to the health sector and make suggestions for improving response.

The current National Disaster Management Framework provides for a comprehensive multisectoral response and incorporates the health ministry/department at all levels of disaster response; however, it does not appear that the framework is well known or utilized by stakeholders. Furthermore, no specific attention is given to the threat of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and the associated public health emergencies. Although, the establishment of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has assisted with addressing some of the gaps in this respect, the response at the sub-national level is still sub-optimal as evidenced by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Disaster preparedness and response planning is particularly lacking at healthcare facilities and this article provides a practical guide that will assist stakeholders in the design of an organizational disaster preparedness plan. 

Keywords

Disaster Management; Public health emergencies, emergency response

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References

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