The Integrated Response to Public Health Emergencies in Nigeria (IRPHEN) is a 5-year project funded by Centres for Disease Control, Atlanta USA that is expected to run from 2015-2020. The project is aimed at strengthening public health surveillance at Nigerian Points of Entry to prevent, detect and respond to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern in the event of their re-importation, emergency and occurrence in Nigeria.
PHI is supporting three international airports (Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Murtala Muhammed Interntional Airport, Lagos and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano) and two land crossings (Ipokia Land Crossing, Ogun State and Seme Land Crossing, Lagos State) by strengthening their public health preparedness and response plans. The headquarters quarters and field offices for this project are in Lagos and Abuja respectively.
Empowered with a strategic approach to strengthen and revitalize the public health systems, the project activities involve advocacy visits, baseline review, capacity building, foster linkages, community education and surveillance. The target populations of these activities are the Points of Entry officials, mobile population and border and near border communities.
Already we are in the second year of the project implementation and we have achieved great success. Knowing that it is the first and only project that deals with Global Health Security in Nigeria, we see it as a great responsibility. We have been working with Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health, who happens to be our principal collaborators and other relevant stakeholder agencies needed to help strengthen public health surveillance in the PoEs where we are currently working. We have made great impact because of the collaborative effort of our various stakeholders.