NCDC, NIMR launch COVID-19 household seroprevalence surveys

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and their partners are conducting household surveys in four states in Nigeria between September and November to better understand the burden of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria.

These seroprevalence surveys to be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos States will provide the best evidence yet, on the extent of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria, including estimate the presence of antibodies in individuals who have had the disease.

NCDC’s Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu and Director-General, NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako in a release they co-signed, said the survey will help increase the current understanding of COVID-19 transmission patterns, the burden of infection in the population, and the age groups most affected as part of measures towards ending the pandemic.

According to them, the survey to involve testing blood samples in randomly selected households in these selected states would also entail the household members answering a brief questionnaire, be tested for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, as well as for acute COVID-19 if they consent.

Participants in the survey, been funded by The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) and the University College London (supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), they said will also have a rapid malaria test and receive treatment if the test is positive.

They added: “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.”

While the preliminary results of the survey are expected to be released by December 2020, they assured of The Federal Ministry of Health as well as the PTF-COVID-19 commitment to strengthening Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 and controlling the outbreak.

 

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