Fighting polio – an emergency response in Nigeria

By Rotary International

Emergency Operations Center

The Emergency Operations Center in Abuja, Nigeria, kicks into action.

By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

In late August 2016, I had the extraordinary opportunity to be in the National Polio Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Abuja, Nigeria. The center was activated to manage the response to two polio cases confirmed in Borno State.

I was in Nigeria as part of a Polio External Review team with the World Health Organization, CDC, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that had been planned months before. But with the discovery of new polio cases, our focus shifted.

Chris Offer, middle, with other participants at the emergency operations center.

As a retired senior police officer, I’m familiar with the use of a central command center to deal with emergencies. The strategy to bring key decision makers into one room from all participating agencies is an effective way to manage emergencies. Communications is face-to-face and decisions are not delayed.

In 2012, emergency centers were established in the capital of Abuja and Nigeria’s northern states with the highest polio infection rates. Nigerian government health agencies, Rotary International, UNICEF, WHO, CDC, USAID, and the Gates Foundation are all involved. Rotary is represented by a member of …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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