The Lagos State Government in collaboration with Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET), the West African Task Force for Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks (WATER), African Gong and the Global Partnership Programme (GPP), Canada is organising a 3-day “Second African Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bio-Security” in Lagos from the 27th to the 29th of July, 2016.
Dr Jide Idris, the state Commissioner for Health who said this at a news briefing in Lagos said that there was the need for collaboration among countries to prevent and control the disease epidemics.
He noted that Ebola Virus Disease and other highly pathogenic emerging and re-emerging epidemic prone diseases remained threats to the West African sub-region hence the need to strengthen the capacity of African scientists and health research.
“We need to remind ourselves that EVD and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases remain a serious threat in West Africa and all hands must be on deck to prevent and control their epidemics.
“WHo recorded that 28,645 people were infected with EVD in six West African sub region out of which 11, 324 died.
“Also Lassa Fever outbreak occurred in Nigeria between Nov. 2015 and March 2016. There were 80 confirmed cases and 50 deaths.
“We also need to remind ourselves that three weeks ago, three cases of Zika Virus infection were diagnosed in Guinea Bisau. Nigeria also recorded a case of Dengue fever a few weeks ago.
“These incidences show that we need to be on full alert and strengthen our diseas surveillance mechanism as well as scale up our emergency preparedness and response platform to secure the health of the people, ” he said.
Idris said that the ministry in collaboration with other international health organisations would be organising a three-day conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bio-Safety to chart the way forward for disease prevention and control.
“The conference which will commence on July 27 to 29 in Lagos has the theme ‘Strengthening African Health Systems, Building Resilience and Capacity to Tackle Epidemic Threats: Biosecurity and Infrastructure in the Aftermath of the EVD Outbreak’.
“The conference is being organised to help develop the continents own strategic intervention and response mechanisms to increasing outbreak of Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) and biological terrorism threats.
“It will also create an opportunity for the continent to derive bio-technological sustainability capacity and knowledge, bringing together diverse participants from across the world and Africa in particular, ” he said.