The NICD works with government, institutions, NGOs, and organisations across the world to address complex challenges surrounding communicable diseases. The NICD also collaborates with the World Health Organization and Africa CDC to support activities and efforts towards the improvement of public health. The institution provides global research and strategic support to international programmes.

The NICD has also established cooperative agreements with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as the European Centre for Disease Control and other internationally recognised institutions. Striving to become a significant role player in the area of communicable diseases, the NICD provides the global health community with valuable communicable disease information and research; deriving from a continent with some of the most important sources of new emerging infectious diseases.

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