Since 2018, the “Keep Pushing” (KP) Simulation Exercise Programme has been delivered in Nigeria on an annual basis (excluding 2020) as part of the collaboration between Nigeria CDC (NCDC) and the IHR Emergency Preparedness Rapid Response (EPRR) team. NCDC aims to establish a network of Public Health Emergency Operating Centres (PHEOCs) within each of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory across Nigeria. The KP exercises support the evaluation of Nigeria’s PHEOCs existing responses at a national and subnational level and help assess the communication channels and working relationships between the PHEOCs.   

With the fourth KP exercise around the corner in March 2022, a half-day learning review workshop of the previous 3 exercises took place on 10th January. Following opening remarks from NCDC’s Deputy Director of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, Dr Olaolu Aderinola, the workshop aimed to identify areas for continuous improvement of the KPP annual programme and Nigeria’s preparedness for and response to public health emergencies.

The event was well attended with 29 participants from across all 15 states. Feedback from attendees was positive with the majority of participants citing the breakout sessions as being useful. The event was facilitated in a hybrid model, with the UKHSA EPRR team delivering virtually, and participants attending in person at NCDC, presenting an agile way of working.

The review of the KP Exercise Programme highlighted lessons which can be used to improve future exercises, and subsequently improve the strengthening of State level and sub-national emergency response preparedness.