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Communique issued at the end of the 10th Annual General Meeting & Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Infectious Diseases Society (Yenagoa 2022)

PREAMBLE

The Nigerian Infectious Diseases Society (NIDS) held its 10th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference (AGSM) from 22nd to 24th November 2022 at the Golden Tulip Hotel and Resorts, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The conference was hybrid and included virtual participants from within and outside Nigeria.

The keynote address titled “Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response: Challenges and Prospects for Resource-Constrained Settings” was delivered by Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). There were plenary sessions on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), COVID-19 vaccination, Lassa fever and Monkeypox (Mpox), as well as a scientific writing workshop, a panel discussion on private sector involvement in infectious diseases control and several abstract presentations.

The following are the major observations and resolutions made at the end of the AGSM.
Major observations
1.The NIDS commends the Federal government of Nigeria (FGN), State Governments, Government agencies and other relevant partners for their contributions to infectious diseases prevention and control in Nigeria.

2.Infectious diseases are significant causes of disease morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, but there are still considerable gaps in the country’s capacity to detect, prevent and control various infectious diseases.

3.Nigeria still faces the challenges of inadequate investment in health security, excessive dependence on foreign aid for health interventions, poor multi-sectoral collaboration, and untapped private sector investments in response to infectious diseases threats.

4.The Society is concerned that Mpox-related therapeutics and vaccines are still not available in Nigeria about five years after resurgence of the disease in the country.

Major resolutions and recommendations
1.The NIDS reaffirms its strong commitment to advancing the prevention and control of infectious diseases in Nigeria through advocacy, research, training, and partnerships.

2.We implore governments at all levels to increase budgetary allocation to primary healthcare and health security, and call for investments in infectious diseases surveillance, diagnostics, research, risk communication and community engagement. The FGN should also commit sufficient resources to promote local manufacturing of medical countermeasures including therapeutics and vaccines for relevant infectious diseases.

3.The NIDS calls for a reappraisal of all previously established COVID-19 molecular laboratories across Nigeria to optimize utilization, and for investments in rapid diagnostic tests for Lassa fever, AMR, and other infectious diseases. We recommend the upgrade and designation of at least one public health laboratory per state for AMR diagnosis.

4.We call on the international community and developed countries to promote equitable and non-prohibitive access to Mpox vaccines and therapeutics to all affected African countries, including Nigeria.

5.We recommend the development and implementation of innovative behavioral interventions and targeted educational programs to address the ongoing challenge of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Nigeria.

Acknowledgement
The NIDS wishes to immensely thank the Government and the good people of Bayelsa State, all speakers at the conference, conference participants and all other public and private organizations that contributed to the success of the AGSM.

 

Long live NIDS,
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Link: https://nids.org.ng/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/communique_nids_22.pdf

SIGNED

Prof. Dimie Ogoina                                                                                                      Dr. Uche Unigwe

President NIDS                                                                                                             Secretary NIDS