American Institution to Spend $2.1m on COVID-19 Response Activities in Nigeria

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The Centre for International Health, Education and Biosecurity (Ciheb) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute of Human Virology has received a $4 million from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support COVID-19 response activities in Nigeria, Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique.

In Nigeria, the institute has proposed to spend $2.1 million in support of a population-based epidemiological study. The study, according to a statement released by the institution is to estimate COVID-19 prevalence in communities, household transmission, the proportion of subclinical infections, and risk factors for infection, using methods similar to the Unity Studies by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure comparability across countries.

The study will be led by principal investigator, Kristen Stafford, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of epidemiology and public health and Ciheb associate director, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Man Charurat, professor of medicine who is Ciheb’s global director and director, Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine said the support is intended to help resource challenged countries in Africa to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by deepening its understanding.

“Low-resource regions in Africa are vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19, and Ciheb is engaged and well-positioned to build upon our partnerships with ministries of health in each country to further the understanding of the pandemic, while strengthening their capacity to monitor and control the spread of the disease,” Charurat said.

According to the university, data generated from this study will characterize the spectrum of disease resulting from COVID-19 and provide critical information on the clinical course and outcomes of COVID-19. It stressed that this information will be vital to inform local response efforts, including the development of strategies to target potential prevention and control interventions to high risk groups, develop clinical treatment guidelines to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, and strengthen the health system to respond to the pandemic.

Part of the support to be provided include technical assistance to enhance and strengthen disease surveillance and improve laboratory diagnostics.

 

 

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