Timely access to emergency funding has been identified as a bottleneck for outbreak response in Nigeria. In February 2019, a new revolving outbreak investigation fund (ROIF) was established by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). We abstracted the date of NCDC notification, date of verification, and date of response for 25 events that occurred prior to establishing the fund (April 2017 to August 2019) and for 8 events that occurred after establishing the fund (February to October 2019). The median time to notification (1 day) and to verification (0 days) did not change after establishing the ROIF, but the median time to response significantly decreased, from 6 days to 2 days (P = .003). Response to disease outbreaks was accelerated by access to emergency funding with a clear approval process. We recommend that the ROIF should be financed by the national government through budget allocation. Finally, development partners can provide financial support for the existing fund and technical assistance for protocol development toward financial accountability and sustainability.
Keywords: Epidemic management/response; Public health preparedness/response Emergency response; Revolving fund; Surveillance.