Conglomeration of young African scientists and political leaders from 33 countries has converged for a conference to proffer solutions for the control of recurrent epidemiological diseases in the African region.
The scientists conference tagged ‘The 6th AFENET and 1ST ECOWAS Regional Centre for Disease Control Scientific Conference’ began yesterday in Abuja.
Executive director for the Regional Centre for Disease Control, Professor Abdulsalaam Nasidi told newsmen that the programme was co-sponsored by AFENET, African network for field epidemiologists and Regional Centre for Disease Control, political leaders together with scientific leaders and ministers of health of 33 countries to empower institutes to begin to tackle diseases in Africa.
Nasidi said, ‘”This meeting is held every two years to bring young African health Scientists together to share their experiences in all what they are doing and to also encourage them to imbibe and embrace science in the area of diagnosis, vaccines , drugs and causes of diseases instead of waiting for foreigners to come and do it for us.
“We are also going to start empowering institutes to have the capacity to diagnose and to start tracking viruses and bacteria that are causing these problems. This is the way we can collaborate with big names like US Centre for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and others,” he said.
Professor Nasidi further noted that Africa had brilliant youth scientists who had been able to reduce the number of deaths by these diseases in their various countries, adding that the conference was a platform to share their experiences and take home such for implementation.
Acting World Health Organisation, WHO, representative in Nigeria, Dr .Rex Mpazanje told Nigerian Pilot that the conference would empower scientists and afford them the capacity to be able to deal with emergency threats in the region.
“This is an important chapter to bring together all the countries by using this platform to build their capacity to respond to health security and emergency threat in the region.
He further noted that WHO is a technical partner to provide a global agenda for health security and emergency for the region,” Mpazanje said.
Dr. Sani Gwarzo Nasir, chief epidemiologist, Ministry of Health, said that Africa was building disease resilience and capacity to tackle disease epidemic whenever it happened.
“We are moving to building our resilience so when anything comes it would meet us ready and that is why we are building capacity so we don’t have to be looking for the problems. We are building our resilience so that whatever the problems will meet us prepared and we will deal with it,” he said.