To help Nigeria deal with pandemics and emergencies in the future, the United States has presented two documents containing the Armed Forces of Nigeria Pandemic Contingency Plan and the Military Assistance to Civil Authorities (MACA) Disaster Contingency Plan to officials of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a well attended ceremony on November 14, at the Hilton Abuja, Maria Brewer, U.S. deputy chief of mission officially handed over the Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan, the Armed Forces of Nigeria Pandemic Contingency Plan and the Military Assistance to Civil Authorities (MACA) Disaster Contingency Plan to representatives of the Federal government of Nigeria including the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu; the Minister for Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina; and the Director General, Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)], Alhaji Muhammad Sidi. These documents will provide guidance for an effective response in the event of severe pandemics or other disasters in Nigeria. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defence (Health Affairs) Dr. Jonathan Woodson and the Deputy Commander Military Operations, USAFRICOM, Lieutenant General Steven Hummer, also attended the hand-over ceremony.
Earlier in her remarks, Deputy Chief of Mission Brewer said the “USAFRICOM engagements in disaster preparedness with Nigeria since 2009 have strengthened partnerships and friendships, which have enhanced regional collaboration and national pandemic preparedness and disaster response plans.”
Part of the handover activities includes seven-days training involving plan familiarization briefings to clarify the roles and responsibilities of civil and military authorities during pandemics and other disasters; a tabletop exercise to identify current strengths, weaknesses, gaps and development of a 5-year Disaster Management Strategic Work Plan to outline potential support for capacity and capability building in partnership with the United States Government via the United States Africa Command.
The development of these plans and the execution of this event is a result of the United States Africa Command’s Disaster Preparedness Program, implemented by the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine.