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FG Flags Off ECOWAS RCDC

Posted: Jul 3, 2016 at 5:53 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chioma Umeha

Lagos-The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has flagged off the ECOWAS Regional Center for Disease Control (RCDC) with a view of increasing the surveillance and information system for early detection, strengthening of laboratory capacity, preparedness and emergency response and retention of trained healthcare workforce in West Africa.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the governing board of the RCDC in Abuja, the minister charged members to build upon the existing structures and successes recorded by Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
The minister noted that the centre was also pilot-testing an open source surveillance and outbreak response management and analytic system (SORMAS) software that uses smartphones to improve bi-directional communication and management of outbreak, thereby significantly reduce outbreak response time. This, he said contributed to making “our health system more resilient and improved response time to health emergencies.”
Prof. Adewole reiterated Federal Government’s commitment towards providing the necessary infrastructures for the immediate operationalisation of the ECOWAS RCDC, as contained in the MOU and the acceptance to use Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as platform for the immediate take of the RCDC.
In his speech, the Director General of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Dr. Crespin Xavier, said that the governing council has difficult task of supervising the activities of the centre in strict compliance with ECOWAS rules and regulations. He pointed out given the rampant outbreaks of disease epidemics in this environment of scarce resources
“The stakes are high, the task is difficult, but there is no doubt that we have what it takes to deliver best practices for disease surveillance and control, which already exist, indeed we have the support and goodwill of our heads of state and government,” he said.
Dr. Xavier expressed gratitude to Nigeria government for all the supports given to WAHO, for the smooth take off of ECOWAS RCDC in Nigeria and also thanked the technical partners for their supports.
In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Shamaki, represented by Director, Public Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Evelyn Ngige, urged the governing board to use their expertise in carrying out the assignment for the overall benefit of the West African populace.
The members of the governing board are: Dr. Xavier Crespin (DG WAHO) – Chairman of the governing board; Prof. Dagnan N’cho Simplice – Cote d’Ivoire; Dr. Badu Sarkodie – Ghana; Dr. Placido Monteiro Carddoso – Guinea Bissau; Dr. Lamine Koivogui – Guinea and Dr. Abdoulaye Bousso – Senegal.
Others are: Dr. Henri Kabore – Mali; Dr. Carlos Pedrio Faria de Brito – WAHO; Mr. Richard Awunyo – WAHO; Mme Savage Ami Ibrahim – WAHO and Maitre Ely Diallo – WAHO.