UNDP and Japan support efforts to improve disease monitoring capacities in West Africa

Oct 3, 2017

Participants of the workshop in a group photograph (Photo credit: Bossman Owusu/UNDP)

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) is organizing a workshop to strengthen and assist border communities to improve disease monitoring capacities and Early Warning Systems in West African Countries.

The workshop, which opens today until Friday, October 6 comes on the heels of the Ebola Viral Disease, which affected Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The outbreak wreaked havoc on all sectors of the economy and threatened to derail developmental gains in the affected countries.

“One lesson that can be learned from the Ebola outbreak is that countries must be prepared to work together to successfully contain similar outbreaks in future”, said Mr. Dominic Sam, UNDP Country Director during the opening of the workshop.

Mr. Sam said the SDGs provide stakeholders the opportunity to improve systems and strengthen the capacity of developing countries in early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.

The workshop forms part of a UNDP initiated project funded by the Government of Japan that seeks to support and strengthen Sub-regional post-Ebola Medical Surveillance and Socio-Economic Recovery Initiatives in West Africa. It is intended to assist countries to address urgent needs in the health, social and economic recovery, conflict prevention and peace building in common border areas.

Japanese Ambassador to Ghana Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura expressed appreciation to Noguchi for organizing this event, which he believes will equip participants with knowledge and skills to identify, monitor and apply relevant tools for disease preparedness and outbreak control.

Dr. Badu Sarkodie of the Ghana Health Service praised UNDP and Japan for supporting this initiative which he said would help with the early detection, prevention and quick recovery from emerging threats.

Seven delegates each are expected from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Cote Ivoire as participants of the workshop. It also draws audiences from UNDP, West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC), JICA, Ghana Health Service and the Embassy of Japan.  

The workshop seeks to impact skills needed to rapidly identify diseases of public health importance and strengthen skills in risk communication and effective community interactions in the selected countries and Ghana.

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