Muyiwa Bamidele , Abuja
Directors of the National Coordinating Institutions of Fifteen West African Countries are currently meeting in Abuja under the umbrella of West African Health Organisation (WAHO) to validate the regional Epidemic and Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan .
The West African Health Organisation meeting will also focus on the ECOWAS inter institutional Communication Strategy and regulation on the shipment of biological samples in the Region.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the four day meeting in Abuja the Director General of WAHO Prof Stanley Okolo
Said the network of preparedness of combating any Epidemic of Ebola, Lasa Fever and other outbreak is stronger when is confronted as regional network.
Prof Okolo explained that the Directors of the National Coordinating Institutions have been meeting before now to synergies in building capacity and share ideals on emergency.
While speaking with journalists at the event Director of Public Health Department of WAHO Dr Carlos Brito said the meeting will see to setting up a proper regulations for transporting Biological sample across the region saying what was obtainable now is global regulation to build a common space in Africa on Disease control.
In his welcome remarks the Director General and the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweaz said the meeting will discuss the role of disease surveillance, laboratory activities, incident management systems .
He raised concern With the increasing threat of disease outbreaks
” Ebola in DRC, Lassa in Nigeria and public health challenges such as AMR, there is no better time than now for our continent to be better prepared and . . To be better prepared, we need coordination, ownership, science based and competent public health institutes”
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweaz disclosed that Nigeria has been having solid working relationship with the Regional Health body.
” Our relationship with WAHO has continued to grow and with the establishment and operationalisation of the RCDC, we have stronger coordination”.