The ECOWAS Regional Centre for Disease Control has been opened in Abuja the Nigeria. Capital.
The centre is expected to coordinate diseases outbreak in Africa.
The Headquarters of the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Diseases Control is located in the highbrow area of Abuja.
While declaring the centre open, the Togolese Minister of Health, Professor Mustapha Mijinyawa, said that the centre would help the African continent in it’s efforts at curbing diseases.
He noted that all Africans need to combine efforts in the fight against diseases.
“No single country can effectively fight diseases because once it crosses the border, it goes to another country. Countries have come together to set up this centre because they believe that when countries put their heads together they can fight diseases”. Professor Mijinyawa said.
On his part, the Nigerian minister of state for health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that West Africa needs such a centre to have a broad control and over all view the public health system in Africa.
He noted that the vaccines production is a long term goal which has started with the setting up of the regional Centre for Disease Control.
“Yes. They are building up the man power now. Equipments are already on ground. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And this is a big step forward in that direction”. He said.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the regional centre would provide the NCDC with a platform for effective coordination of the work being done by different countries.
He also noted that the staff base of the centre is drawn from the all the countries in ECOWAS.
He said that Nigeria id proud to host the regional CDC.
“Although there are fifteen countries in the region, the truth is half of the population og West Africa id actually in Nigeria. So, we have a responsibility of supporting activities across. Why thid one is particularly important is diseases don’t really recognise the borders. You see during the Ebola outbreak, it spread very easily between Guinea, Liberia and Sierre Leone. So, we can not work only with our national borders. We have to have a broader perspective”. He said.
The establishment of the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Disease Control was approved by the Heads of state and government of ECOWAS in May 2015.