The West African Infectious Diseases Institute (WAIDI) was incorporated in 2012 as a collaborative, multi-university initiative based in Nigeria. Its mission is to support and improve locally led research, promote findings to encourage strong health policy and ensure effective healthcare programs and systems, and offer premium training and education opportunities for the region’s health workforce.

Why Nigeria?

Nigeria, the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa with more than 170 million residents, has the largest infectious disease burden in the world. While being home to more than 30 medical schools, there is relatively little academic collaboration to inform program development.  The country does not presently have a sufficient health workforce or the facilities to analyze and diagnose disease at early stages.

Nigeria’s health sector faces several deficiencies and hurdles to the development of permanent institutional capacity and effective progress:

  • Lack of visionary leadership, owing to mass emigration of top talent over the past decades
  • Isolation from the international community, resulting from years of dictatorship and corruption
  • Diverse and fragmented investments in the health sector
  • A long history of “parachute research initiatives” with limited sustainable impact
  • Operational inefficiency and poor financial management
  • Lack of research infrastructure

Nigeria is in desperate need of new approaches to improving the health of its people in a complex and dynamic environment.

Replicating Our Success in West Africa

Based in Abuja, Nigeria, the West African Infectious Diseases Institute (WAIDI) is a collaborative multi-university organization with a mission to support and improve locally driven research and training across all infectious diseases. The institute promotes the use of evidence in setting strong health policy and ensuring that effective healthcare practices are implemented in the public and private sectors. Supported by funding from ExxonMobil and others, WAIDI is modeled on Accordia’s flagship center of excellence, the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University in Uganda, and is locally owned and autonomous.

Designed to serve member universities and individual researchers in conducting high quality research in all areas of infectious disease, WAIDI provides specialized infrastructure, improved compliance with global research standards, national and international linkages and collaboration, and access to new funding sources. Programs and policies are guided by WAIDI’s West African Academic Alliance, a group of ten top Nigerian academicians and health experts; Accordia’s International Academic Alliance; and a network of partner universities from around the world. Through world-class research and high quality training, WAIDI aims to transform Nigeria’s and other West African countries’ national health systems and to ensure better health outcomes for their populations.


11/9/16 – WAIDI is pleased to announce its abstract submission to the (Nigerian) National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) 2016 Conference.

Titled “Recognizing the Role of Technical Facilitation as an Evidence-Based Catalyst for Improved Coordination in Research” this examination follows the second phase of a NACA-funded Operations Research expansion project in HIV/AIDS programming. For more information.

West African Training Guide for Ebola Preparedness and Outbreak Response

In response the the momentous outbreak of Ebola across West Africa that began in 2014 WAIDI formed a collaboration with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, Infectious Disease Institute in Uganda, and Nigerian Ministry of Health to publish a region-specific curriculum for training healthcare workers at Ebola Treatment Units across West Africa.

By drawing upon the experience of West Africans involved in the 2014 Ebola outbreak, as well as East Africans who have quelled outbreaks of Ebola in decades past, WAIDI put together the first and only training guide that focuses specifically on the geographic and social peculiarities of fighting Ebola in West Africa. The highly infectious nature of the Ebola virus necessitated a huge change in all social norms for physical contact; affecting not just how patients are diagnosed and treated in hospital, but how customary greetings and burial rituals take place across a whole region. Through teaching vital WHO-recomended contamination prevention practices, combined with instruction on the cultural and environmental contributing factors to an Ebola outbreak, healthcare workers can be more effective and confident in their own safety.

NACA Operations Research Workshop

Operational Research (OR), the application of analytical methods to enable better decision-making, is a key component to the effective delivery of healthcare. By applying the scientific method to the management of organizaed systems more accurate and descriptive data can be collected, allowing healthcare providers to better serve their communities. This type of research guides the development and implemenation of health services at the local, regional, and national levels, and is an important contributor in rapidly expanding Nigerian’s access to quality healthcare.

Following an initial phase of OR in 2013, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in Nigeria identified technical assistance to OR  implementers as a priority and engaged the West African Infectious Diseases Institute (WAIDI) to support the process of a second round of OR in 2015. WAIDI, alongside a technical oversight committee from NACA, defined fifteen questions of priority pertaining to two specific areas for redress: the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) and solutions for the Most At Risk Populations for HIV infection (MARPs).

The OR Development Workshop formed by WAIDI prepared twenty-five proposals for topics of operational research, then focused on presenting seven contracts for research implementation, resulting in funding totalling 59 million Naira (approximately $300,000). Click here to download the Pase II Operations’ Research Protocol Development Workshop Report.

WAIDI’s Founding Institutional Members:

  • Bayero University Kano
  • Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
  • Gombe State University
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka
  • Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife
  • University of Calabar
  • University of Ibadan
  • University of Jos
  • University of Lagos
  • University of Maiduguri
  • University of Nigeria Nsuka
  • University of Uyo