February 24, 2017 By Kadrie Koroma
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with METABIOTA (USAID PREDICT) has ended a one day meeting on the One Health district initiative on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at the Ramsy hall, Liverpool Street in Freetown.
The objective of the meeting was to facilitate multi-sectoral coordination and technical discussions on One Health implementation within the PREDICT project.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer II, Dr. Amara Jambai, described the event as an important occasion in preventing disease in the country.
Dr. Jambai stressed the need to making sure that human lives are protected against diseases from animals, adding that the different sectors should ensure that human lives are protected.
He observed that One Health has a varied applications from country to country and that Sierra Leone has its own format in addressing diseases through collaboration and coordination.
Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Advisor USAID, Dorothy Peprah, stressed the importance of the meeting and the collaboration to prevent diseases in Sierra Leone.
She said USAID is supporting the PREDICT project in Sierra Leone and several other countries around the world, disclosing that 70 percent of new emerging diseases are coming from animals and reiterated their strong support to the development of the project noting that the idea of collaboration is no longer an option but a must.
METABIOTA Country Director, Prof. AiahGbakima, giving the background of PREDICT, said the PREDICT-2 project is part of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threat-2 programme (EPT-2), to develop a global early warning system to detect, track, and predict the emergence of new Zoonotic pathogens from animals that could pose a threat to human health.
He said PREDICT is implementing the Ebola Host Project (EHP) in Sierra Leone to identify the animals that may act as reservoirs or transmission hosts for Ebola and other filoviruses.
PREDICT’s goal in Sierra Leone, the Country Director said is to identify animals that may act as reservoirs or transmission hosts for Ebola virus to enable development of targeted prevention measures that can reduce the risk of spillover from animals to people using the One Health approach.
Statement from the Country Team Lead, FAO, TesfaiTseygai, presentations on PREDICT and discussion on the next steps, chaired by the District Medical Officer, Western Area, Dr. Thomas Samba formed part of the meeting.