Abuja – Nigeria graduated the third cohort of the Growing Expertise in E-Health Knowledge and Skills (GEEKS) fellowship program graduated in Abuja. GEEKS is a capacity-building program funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and implemented by the Africa Field Epidemiology Network and the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria. The cohort included seven fellows from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
During the program, fellows, with oversight from ten mentors, developed a Data Analysis and Visualization Tool for Nigeria’s District Health Information Software 2 dashboard to show linkages between adverse events following immunization (AEFI) and immunizations received to help facilitate the fast-tracking of responses to any adverse events following immunization. The fellows also developed a routine immunization and vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) dashboard for Nigeria’s Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System to link immunization coverage with outbreaks. Both dashboards will help inform and improve Nigeria’s public health programming and response efforts.
The GEEKS fellowship was established in 2019 as a data management capacity-building program where nominated staff of government agencies participate in a 12-month intensive training and mentorship initiative focused on transferring and strengthening technical skills to optimize data collection and analysis to inform evidence-based decision-making and improve public health service delivery. Since its inception, the program has trained over 50 government of Nigeria staff on data management, triangulation, interpretation, communication, and research writing.
Recruitment for the fourth cohort is currently underway and will include staff from NPHCDA, NAFDAC, NCDC, and the Federal Ministry of Health. The training and mentorship sessions will take place from May 2023 to April 2024 and will focus on building the capacity of subnational-level government staff.
The GEEKS fellowship reinforces the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s federal and states ministries of health in the development, implementation, and evaluation of disease response efforts and programs that contribute to a strengthened public health infrastructure.