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Vice President Foh launches One Health Platform PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kadrie Koroma   
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 18:14

Vice President, Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh has officially launched the One Health Platform, an innovative, proactive to prevent, detect and respond to future disease outbreak in Sierra Leone past Friday June 23, 2017 at the Miatta Conference Centre, Brookfields in Freetown.

Delivering his keynote address, Vice President Dr. Victor Foh described the ceremony as an history making event of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, recalling the launch of the maternal and child health week in June this year.

He said by the launch of the One Health Platform, Sierra Leone is taking another giant step towards achieving its health care delivery system, pointing out that by this step, they would be able to identify, diagnose and prevent, and cure diseases that are transmitted from animals to human beings.

The Vice President underscored the importance of becoming a member of the One Health, stating that Sierra Leone is enhancing its partnership at the international stage and together with partners, they will be taking the Global Health Security Agenda to a productive level.

Dr. Foh on behalf of the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma expressed thanks to partners for their support to the One Health Platform to meeting the target set as a nation.

The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah said with the launch, Sierra Leone has become the first country in West Africa to launch its national One Health Platform, representing a big step forward in ensuring better coordination in the management of zoonotic diseases and other public health events.

He said a significant number of pathogens affecting human are of animal origin, adding that it is estimated that as high as 75 percent of emerging and re-emerging pathogens come from animals. He added that zoonotic diseases have therefore become a growing threat to human lives meaning the traditional approach of focusing on human health security alone as a means of achieving global health security is no longer tenable

Dr. Fofanah informed his audience that the recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease clearly highlighted the link between animal and public health and the importance of veterinary and medical sectors working in a coordinated way.

The Minister reiterated that the One Health approach represent a powerful framework that is based on the understanding that human, animal and environmental health are all interlinked and require a coordinated approach.

The Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, Prof. Monty Jones said  over the last 15 years, the world has faced with more than 15 deadly zoonotic or vector-borne global outbreaks, both viral and bacterial, adding that since 1980, more than 87 new zoonotic or vector-borne emerging infectious disease have been discovered.

He stated that the International Livestock Research Institute has highlighted zoonoses as major obstacles to poverty alleviation, affecting 1,000,000,000 livestock keepers, noting that the report estimated that there are over 2,500,000,000 cases of human illness and 2.7 million deaths annually due to the top 56 zoonoses.

Prof. Jones said the One Health Platform creates the avenue where the three sectors: human health, animal health and the environment can pool their resources to form a formidable front to fight against any pandemic threat.

The Executive Chairperson, Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Madam Haddijatou Jallow said the burden of diseases is attributed to environmental determinates.

She said a large part of cardiovascular diseases are directly caused by the fine particulate matter in the air that we breathe, and that environmental pollution of mercury or lead severely affects mental health and intellect.

The EPA Executive Chairperson stated that exposure to persistent organic pollutants can lead to serious health effects including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems and greater susceptibility to disease and damages to the central and peripheral nervous systems.

She said the Environment Protection Agency was established by an Act of Parliament in 2008 as amended in 2010, and is mandated to effectively protect and manage the environment of Sierra Leone.

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Sunil Saigal said health security is crucial in a world increasingly threatened by emerging and re-emerging diseases, the risen of antimicrobial resistance, and other health emergencies that place intense pressure not only on health services, but also on economics and the society as a whole.

He said the African region faces numerous public health challenges from emerging and re-emerging diseases with epidemic and pandemic risks. He added that countries in the African region report an average of 80 to 100 acute public health events annually, and more than 80 percent of which are infectious diseases, adding that about 75 percent of the emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in nature.

Mr. Sunil Saigal said the launch of the One Health Platform is timely, stating that key priority areas will be to strengthen the coordination mechanism at national and district level, strengthen surveillance systems for priority zoonotic diseases and pathogens, ensure that mechanisms for responding to zoonoses are in place and addressing the veterinary and animal health workforce.

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Global Health, USAID, Izene Koek, said 70 percent of emerging diseases are of animal origin and as the global population continues to grow, new contagious pathogens are likely to rise that threaten human population the way Ebola did in west Africa in 2014 and 2015.

She said in 2014, the country was fighting for its very survival against the Ebola virus, and less than three years later, Sierra Leone is among the first countries in West Africa to launch its national One Health Platform.

The Chief Medical Officer and chairman for the ceremony, Dr. Brima Kargbo said the platform once operational, will be a formidable mechanism in achieving Sierra Leone’s commitments under the Global Health Security Agenda




2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul


The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.


Business News


The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.


Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

These findings are contained in the latest edition of the West Africa Freedom of Expression Monitor, a quarterly report by the MFWA which analyses and highlights freedom of expression developments in the sub-region.





 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.

View Point


Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.


News - Press Release


"Bribery and petty corruption undermines the Rule of Law, Effective service delivery and sustainable development," says the Regional Manager, ACC South, Samuel Marah on 28th June 2017 at the Njala University Kowama campus Bo, whilst addressing students and lecturers of the Department of Nursing on the need to curb petty corruption and bribery in the educational system in Sierra Leone.

Speaking on the effects of bribery and petty corruption, Samuel Marah noted that, the practice of bribery has overtly affected our justice system, enforcement of the rule of law and quality service delivery to the people of Sierra Leone which he said to tackle needs collective and collaborative effort.        

Mr. Marah said, the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign, which is the Commission's flagship project, is a data capturing tool, that shows trends of bribery in  five piloted   MDAs ( Health, Education, SLP , SALWACO and EDSA ) for informed decision making on the trends of bribery and to increase service delivery in the public sector institutions. He stressed  that, PNB reporting platform  is established by the ACC and its partners to empower citizens to anonymously report incidents of bribery and petty corruption by calling 515 free on all networks, visit the PNB website;, or on the mobile application in Krio, Temne and Mende to make their complaints. Mr Marah implored his audience to join the campaign which he said is a national call to service.


Society -Local News

HRCSL presents detention monitoring outcomes to stakeholders
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone(HRCSL) on Wednesday July 26th, 2017 at their headquarters at NEC Building  engaged relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the outcome of their monitoring of detention facilities and other social services.
The monitoring was carried out between January and April at the prisons, police cells, remand homes and probation facilities across the country.
The HRCSL Act No.9 of 2004 in section 7 (2)(f) requires the Commission to monitor and document human rights violations in Sierra Leone and section 9(1) gives the Commission powers to authorize persons whom they think are capable to act on their behalf, in order to access all government offices, facilities and places of detention including prisons, police cells, remand homes and probation facilities.


China-Aid Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project hand over Agriculture Materials to the Ministry of Agriculture

On  21st July ,2017 at a handing over ceremony held at Ogoo Farm in Freetown, China-Aid Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project Team handed agricultural materials to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS). 

The items include seed rice, maize, agro chemicals, fertilizer, pesticides and power tillers for farmers within the western area district. Dignitaries present included The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food security Prof. Monty Jones and his entourage ,  Mr Shen Xiaokai, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, the District agricultural officer, the Chinese technical team, National federation of farmers Sierra Leone representative and lot of farmers in the western Area.



News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
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