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Centre up for disease control across West Africa

Governing board of newly formed Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (RCDC) for West Africa is meeting for the first time since the centre…

Governing board of newly formed Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (RCDC) for West Africa is meeting for the first time since the centre was conceived last year.

But the inaugural meeting was delayed more than an hour and half while delegates waited for  Nigeria’s health minister Isaac Adewole and director general of West African Health Organisation, Dr Crespin Xavier.

A meeting of African heads of government in April approved the establishment of the regional centre for disease control in the wake of the Ebola outbreak across West Africa.

RCDC will harness disease surveillance and control across the region, including countries as Ghana, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire, some of them countries hit in the Ebola epidemic.

RCDC is to use the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control as platform for its takeoff, considering Nigeria’s experience with tackling the virus.

"Forty percent of global disease burden is on the neck of Africa, so it is important to strengthen National and regional capacities otherwise we will keep having health emergencies," said Dr Abdulsalam Nasidi, acting director general of NCDC.
 

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