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Why It is Difficult to Enforce COVID-19 Guidelines in Nigeria –NCDC

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By Nwa Diokpa

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed why it is problematic for the agency to effectively enforce COVID-19 guidelines across all states of the federation.

Dr Chinwe Ochu, the Acting Director of Prevention Programmes and Knowledge Management at the NCDC, stated this at a webinar on Friday organized by Nigeria Health watch stressing that some states had a level of autonomy that made it difficult for the agency to enforce its COVID-19 guidelines.

He said: “Initially when we started communicating our messages (to the people), we adopted the top-bottom approach. We developed our messages and we let the states adapt them to their own contexts. But we had to move away from that to the bottom-up approach by engaging the communities to develop their own risk messages and we have discovered that this is more impactful.

“We live in a society where almost everything is politicised and we have come to see health being politicised and we had to handle this politics regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been a very big challenge.

“Health is on a concurrent list, so states are given autonomy to decide what they want to do for their own people. When we come out as a national agency and we say people should do this and not do that, the states still have some level of autonomy that makes it difficult for us (as an agency) to enforce whatever it is. And of course, as an agency, we don’t enforce whatever it is that we share with the people.”


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