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Obaseki, US launch centre for public health emergency operation in Benin

20 May 2024

L-R: U.S. Consul General Will Stevens; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samuel Alli, at the commissioning of the Edo State Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC), Benin City, Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

…centre to serve as hub for epidemiologist intelligence gathering, emergency risk analysis, others

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the United States Consul General, Will Stevens, on Tuesday, commissioned the Edo State Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC).

Obaseki, during the commissioning at Palm House, along Sapele Road in Benin City, the Edo State capital, said the facility will serve as a hub for health situational awareness, daily epidemiologist intelligence gathering, risk analysis of emergency events of public health importance which are needed for decisions making.

The governor said the center is an initiative that underscores his administration's sustained efforts to strengthen health institutions for real-time emergency and disease management in the State.

He said, “This Center is an initiative that underscores our sustained efforts, as a government, to strengthen our institutions as a whole, but in particular our health institution for real-time emergency and disease management in our State.”


According to him, “A couple of weeks ago, we launched the emergency response center where we are training emergency responders to deal with emergency situations which they find in their communities.

“This Center is set up to effectively respond and coordinate public health emergencies and to ensure adequate surveillance data on disease conditions especially those priority diseases we are tracking in Edo State, as well as other emerging and reemerging diseases.

“Institutions such as this are critical in managing crisis, especially making data readily available to study trends, and prepare for response in terms of emergencies.”

He further noted, “The Edo State Emergency Public Health Operation Center was set up in 2020 during COVID-19 after several months of painstaking work by myself, NCDC, USAID and was declared opened by the then Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekwuazu. His work during COVID-19 is acknowledged and this led to setting the foundation of this institution today.

“The present integrated public health emergency operation center arose from the need to strengthen event-based surveillance for early case detection, and improved response to public health events in general.


“The upgrade required installation of state-of-the-art equipment, visualization tools, and dashboard for informed decision-making which was supported by Edo State Government, USAID, and other implementation partners in the State.”

Noting some achievements in the health sector, Obaseki said his administration has rebuilt the Edo State School of Nursing, re-accredited it, and made it one of the best in Nigeria, adding that the Edo School of Health Technology is also being rebuilt and will be re-accredited and upgraded to become one of the best in Nigeria.

He said his administration is focusing on manpower development, which is required to sustain the achievements and gains recorded in the health sector, adding that his government has connected over 64 main Primary Healthcare Centers with fiber to bring health closer to Edo people.

On his part, the U.S. Consul General Will Stevens said, “It’s the job of a government to take care of its people. This facility is a great symbol of democracy delivered by responding to the needs of the people and making the people happier and safer.

“We the United States Government are so grateful for the health partnership we have with the Nigerian people for nearly 25 years.”

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samuel Alli said the center will serve as a nerve center facilitating real-time communication and data sharing amongst health professionals and epidemiologists.“This facility presently serving Edo State is expected to serve the six States in the South-South geo-political zones until all these states activate their own PHEOC. This success will not have been possible without the support of Governor Godwin Obaseki. This facility will specifically address public health emergency outbreaks, like Lassa fever, and COVID-19, among others.”

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