US CDC gives Nigeria $2.1m support for household Covid-19 infectious survey


THE United States (U.S.) Government, through the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has provided $2.1 million support to Nigeria to conduct a household survey into Covid-19.

The essence of the survey is to help Nigeria understand and determine the extent of COVID-19 transmission in the states of Gombe, Enugu and Nasarawa.

The survey will increase the current understanding of COVID-19 transmission and burden in these three states and inform COVID-19 response efforts of the Federal Government and its partners.

The U.S. CDC is working with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), one of its implementing partners in Nigeria, to provide technical assistance and oversee field implementation of the survey. The survey will be conducted between September and November with preliminary results expected to be released by December 2020.

The U.S. CDC’s support, according to a statement by the U.S. Embassy, Abuja, was part of the bilateral efforts to improve the health and well-being of Nigerians.

The survey, the statement added, “will estimate the proportion of the population in these states, who have ever been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease”.

“This will be accomplished by measuring the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the blood of volunteers. These antibodies, specialised proteins produced by the immune system to fight infection, are generated as part of the body’s response to COVID-19 and are an indication of previous infection.

“The survey will also estimate the proportion of people, who have the disease but are not showing any symptoms, determine risk factors for infection, and measure the intra-household transmission of COVID-19. The survey will also estimate the prevalence of malaria and its potential relationship to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Testing for COVID-19 infection and antibodies will be done at the National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa, Abuja.

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