Remarks by U.S. Consul General Claire Pierengelo – Public Health Emergency Management Professional Certificate Program

During the Closing Ceremony and Certification of Participants of the USG-supported Public Health Emergency Management Professional Certificate Program

On behalf of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, I am delighted to join you this afternoon for the closing ceremony and certification of participants of the United States Government-supported Public Health Emergency Management Professional Certificate program, the first such training at the intermediate level.

Over the last 14 days, our distinguished participants have gone through rigorous training leading to certification. The two-week course focused on core principles of an Incident Management System (IMS) as an efficient coordination mechanism for responding to small disease outbreaks as well as more significant public health emergencies like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Management is one of the 11 capacity building prioritized by the USG in its support of Nigeria. Our primary goal is to continue supporting Nigeria to achieve the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) 2024 targets and the International Health Regulations (IHR) requirements by strengthening workforce development, surveillance, emergency response, and laboratory capacity, among other areas.

Today’s event highlights our continued strategic partnership with Nigeria to support health security and response to disease threats. In the recent past, the USG had funded the participation of 4 Nigerians to attend the advanced Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM) Fellowship program at CDC headquarters in Atlanta.

As Nigeria consolidates country capacity for public health response by establishing State Public Health Emergency Operations Centers (PHEOC) across the country, we envision expanding PHEM capacity across Nigeria by training more stakeholders to ensure adequate knowledge, competencies, and skills to efficiently manage technical operations of the PHEOCs.

Even as we continue to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in our countries and many parts of the world, the need for all countries to continuously improve their response capacities cannot be overemphasized. We believe the PHEM professional certification program is one such training initiative that will adequately position Nigeria for epidemic and pandemic response now and into the future.

Let me use this opportunity to thank Dr. Chikwe and the NCDC team for providing the opportunity for this transformative collaboration. In addition, I would like to thank the US-CDC for their leadership and Georgetown University for their efforts in working with the government and other partners to implement the PHEM program in Nigeria.

Finally, following lessons learned from this pilot implementation, USG will continue to support NCDC to advance Public Health Emergency Management interventions in Nigeria at all levels. let me reiterate that the we remain committed and stand ready to continue our partnership with Nigeria in its response to public health disease threats and adopt strategies that will increase disease prevention, detection, and response. We are committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.

Thank you.