Nigeria, 15 nations seal deal to end health threats
West African countries have agreed to mobilise resources to operationalise the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Disease Surveillance and Control (RCDSC) and the ECOWAS Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC).
The resolution emerged at the end of the West African Regional Conference on One Health, which ended at the weekend in Dakar, Senegal.
One Health is an approach that calls on policymakers and health practitioners to consider the link between human, animal and environmental health when designing public health systems, research and programmes.
Experts say that in recent years, 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases originated from animals or animal products. It is believed the killer Ebola virus spread to a young boy in rural Guinea from an infected animal, sparking an epidemic. By taking an integrated approach to public health, communities and countries are expected to identify outbreaks in animals before they spread to humans.