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COVID-19: NCDC, NIMR launch household survey in four states

COVID-19: NCDC, NIMR launch household survey in four states
September 21
19:32 2020

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) have launched a COVID-19 household survey in four states.

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This was announced in a statement jointly signed by Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC director-general, and ​​​​​Babatunde Salako, director-general of NIMR.

Seroprevalence surveys are used to identify the occurrence of disease in a population by estimating the presence of antibodies in individuals who have had the disease. This is done by testing blood samples in randomly selected households in selected states.

The survey which seeks to better understand the burden of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria will be conducted in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos.

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The exercise “will provide the best evidence yet, on the extent of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria”.

According to the statement, the surveys will be conducted between September and November, and preliminary results are expected to be released by December 2020.

“For Nigeria’s COVID-19 seroprevalence survey, household members will answer a brief questionnaire, be tested for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, as well as for acute COVID-19, if they consent,” the statement read.

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“In addition to this, study participants will also have a rapid malaria test and receive treatment if the test is positive.

“This is the first set of household surveys to be conducted for COVID-19 in Nigeria and as part of ongoing public health research activities. The surveys will increase the current understanding of COVID-19 transmission patterns, the burden of infection in the population, and the age groups most affected.

“This information will help inform COVID-19 response decisions by the Government of Nigeria and partners as part of measures towards ending the pandemic. The surveys will also estimate the proportion of people who have COVID-19 but are not showing any symptoms i.e. asymptomatic.

“Through this, the country can identify risk factors for infection and measure the transmission of COVID-19 within households. By administering rapid malaria tests, the surveys will also assess malaria infections and their possible relationship to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The results from these surveys will inform the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.”

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The implementation of the surveys is supported by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) and the University College London, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The US-CDC’s implementing partner, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), will also support the state ministries of health with implementation.

On Sunday, Nigeria confirmed 57,242 COVID-19 cases. While 48,569 patients have recovered, 1,098 deaths have been recorded.

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