During their first visit to Nigeria, the RCE team delivered introductory training on chemical events to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and other key stakeholders in Abuja   

The UKHSA Radiation, Chemical and Environmental (RCE) hazards team as part of the IHR Strengthening project have been working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other key stakeholders to strengthen the national capacity to improve surveillance and response to chemical incidents in Nigeria. As part of remote scoping undertaken during the COVID19 pandemic RCE identified that advocacy and support for a chemical multi-sectoral coordination, a training needs assessment and delivery of a foundational training course could be initial steps in improving capacity in this area.

As part of their first visit to Nigeria RCE delivered training to participants from NCDC, Federal Ministry of Health,  National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, and Federal Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.  The objectives of the training include developing skills to manage a chemical public health emergency and how emergency response, planning and chemical surveillance can help prevent and limit the impact of chemical incidents.  The training also introduced key concepts in toxicology and environmental epidemiology which will act as grounding for future training to be delivered in Nigeria.  On the final day of the course the team and trainees undertook a visit to a sewage treatment works in Abuja to support some of the key concepts on chemical hazards that had been learnt in the preceding week.

As the team were limited by travel restrictions the course was delivered via a hybrid model combining in person presentations and exercises supplemented by some recorded presentations from the RCE team in the UK. The feedback received was generally very positive and results from pre and post learning assessments indicated improvement in all trainees scores.

UKHSA representative, Nick Brooke:

It was a pleasure to deliver the training to such an engaged group and just as importantly bring together key chemical stakeholders from different agencies which will support collaborative working going forward

Quotes from the delegates:

The lectures were interesting, informative, engaging. The interactive break out/ group sessions. The field trip too!”

This event will help me work towards supporting the chemical events indicators of the JEE benchmark”