Proceedings of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control/Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme 2nd Annual Scientific Conference (Abuja, 2018)

Opening ceremony

The role of a national-emergency operations center in 2016/2017 meningitis outbreak response

Cite this: Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. Mar 2018; 8(8): 34. doi:10.11604/pamj.cp.2018.8.34.616

Submitted: 16 Jan 18   Accepted: 29 Jan 18   Published: 28 Mar 18

Key words: Incidence management system, coordination, outbreak, response

© Womi-Eteng Oboma Eteng et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Corresponding author: Womi-Eteng Oboma Eteng, Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria (

This abstract is published as part of the proceedings of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control/Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme 2nd Annual Scientific Conference(NIGERIA, )

The role of a national-emergency operations center in 2016/2017 meningitis outbreak response

Womi-Eteng Oboma Eteng1,&, John Oladejo1, Abdulaziz Mohammed2, Mohammed Saleh3, Aragaw Merawi1, Chikwe Ihekweazu1


1Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Africa Centre for Disease Control, Addis Ababa, Nigeria, 3US-Centre for Disease Control & Prevention, Atlanta, United states



&Corresponding author
Womi-Eteng Oboma Eteng, Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria




Introduction: outbreaks of bacterial Cerebrospinal Meningitis are known to result in high morbidity and mortality. Outbreaks with such a high impact attract a multi-level, multi-partner response. While the accompanying deployment of human and material resources is beneficial for response, effective utilization may be compromised without a central coordinating structure. Activating an Incident Management System (IMS) is therefore vital. This paper describes the role of an IMS in coordinating response to the 2017 CSM outbreak, which resulted in 14,280 cases with CFR of 8%.


Methods: on the 3rd of April, 2017, a national IMS led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was activated coinciding with the peak of the outbreak (Epi-week 14, 2017). Terms of reference and an emergency response plan was defined based on five response pillars- Coordination, Case management, Surveillance and Epidemiology, Risk Communications and Vaccines management. Activities implemented include: Bi-weekly CSM EOC meetings and situational report development, deployment of rapid response teams (RRT) to affected States, technical support to States to support reactive vaccination campaigns. Other activities included sensitization of stakeholders, monitoring of epidemiological trends using dashboards, development and review of SOPs, weekly feedbacks to affected States as well as multi-layered advocacies.


Results: the IMS activation enhanced coordination of all response activities by the Government and partners. A long tail of the epidemic prior to EOC activation was shortened and CFR reduced from 11.2% to 8.0%. Reactive vaccination campaigns were better coordinated yielding high coverage rates in Zamfara (97%), Sokoto (97%) and Yobe (105%) States. Multi-level mapping and strategic deployment of all partnersí resources was achieved. Development and dissemination of bi-weekly situational reports aided response decisions and kept stakeholders and the general public abreast of outbreak status. Decision making was evidence-based as outbreak dashboards were used to review epidemic trends. Engagement with stakeholders (media, traditional and religious institutions) helped in social mobilization. Guidelines and SOPs development improved sub-national response by eliminating the use of multiple guidelines on same thematic area.


Conclusion: the containment of CSM outbreak is partly attributable to the activation of the IMS, which aided timely identification of response gaps and proffering solutions. Although the IMS was activated only at the peak of the outbreak, a drastic reduction in new cases was recorded. The use of an IMS for coordinating future outbreaks is highly recommended.



















Nigeria CDC/Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme 2<sup>nd</sup> Annual Scientific Conference (Abuja)

To create a platform for epidemiologists and public health physicians to share their scientific works, NCDC/NFELTP organized the 2nd annual scientific conference with the theme "strengthening one health through field epidemiology training" at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria from July 5-7, 2017. The objectives of the conference were to provide residents and graduates a forum to share findings from their field activities; provide training opportunity for trainees on scientific communication; provide an opportunity for epidemiological networking as well as create a forum to discuss pertinent public health issues. In attendance were dignitaries from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USAID, WHO, Africa CDC, Ministries Departments and Agencies, University officials and other implementing partners. With the current rise in zoonotic diseases, the conference also featured a two-day pre-conference workshop on One Health which prioritized zoonotic infectious diseases in Nigeria using standardized prioritization methods. A second workshop focused on antimicrobial resistance. There were 38 oral presentations, 60 poster presentations and 2 plenary sessions. The presentations covered various sub-themes ranging from outbreak investigations, case management, health system strengthening, vaccine preventable diseases, communicable diseases and surveillance. The conference featured a National Night and climaxed with awards to outstanding presenters.

Country: NIGERIA

Dates: 05 Jul 17 - 07 Jul 17

Venue: Transcorp Hilton Hotel

Organizers: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control / Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme


Contact person: Dr Patrick Nguku (