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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




26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.


Business News

Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone

John D. Okrafo-Smart, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone and gives his insight into the banking landscape.

Excerpts shared by Sheriff Mahmud Ismail

The Government of Sierra Leone is placing great priority in improving the business climate, enhancing infrastructure and support to private sector development. In line with the government focus, the Central Bank is targeting price stability in support of economic recovery, enhancing monetary policy instruments and liquidity management and also limiting intervention in the foreign exchange market, which will be important to preserve foreign exchange reserves.

The above measures will help in the strengthening of the banking system to support financial intermediation. Commercial banks are thus poised to benefit and take advantage of the improved economic and business environment by offering better services to their customers, including loans and overdrafts and forex to import, thereby creating wealth and boosting government revenue.


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.




Dr. Tam Baryoh’s Only Crime!

Boris Johnson as a Journalist worked at The Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers. He edited The Spectator newspaper between 1999 and 2006. He was Member of Parliament for Henley from 2001 to 2008 and was also Mayor of London. He is a member of the Conservative Party and the current UK Foreign Secretary.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was to serve as the first president of independent Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He opened and edited a number of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria and later became an active politician. Obafemi Awolowo was a great Nigerian politician. He also was an active journalist and edited The Nigerian Worker, amongst other publications.

There is a clear link between politics and journalism though, there seems to be a very thin boundary, or perhaps, “a reflective door in the firewall, such that with time, politicians and journalists cross the line changing roles and moving from side to side,” argues Aminat Afolabi in a piece, titled ‘Politics and Journalism, the Interwoven Relationship between Them.”


View Point

The APC Convention: A political façade, if not a joke!

Thanks to AYV partnered by AFCOM, I was able to followthe live coverage of the APC and SLPP conventions on my mobile phone from my base in the UK.It was good that both conventions took place simultaneously last week end (October 15-16, 2017) because, at the very least, it provided the opportunity to those keenly following the two historic events to compare and contrast them, not least in terms of democratic processes and procedures. Let me start by talking about how I saw the APC convention held in Makeni, then compare,and contrast it with what I saw at the SLPP convention held in Freetown.


News - Press Release

EU Election Exploratory Mission meets Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MFAIC Press Office, 18th October, 2017). The European Union Election Exploratory Mission to Sierra Leone led by Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, H.E. Tom Vens has paid a working visit to the Minister, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara and Senior Management Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the Ministry’s office in Tower Hill, Freetown.

Ambassador Tom Vens stated that the EU Election Exploratory Mission is in Sierra Leone following an invitation by the Government of Sierra Leone for EU Electoral assistance, and to further discuss the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in facilitating EU Observer Mission for the March 2018 elections in the country. The EU Election Exploratory Missionas part of its mandate is in the country to draft and finalise the MOU with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Foreign Ministry.


Society -Local News

Abdul Nahim-Koroma's Life Is In Danger

Members of the Sierra Leone Drug Addiction Council are seriously concern about the life of Abdul Nahim-Koroma who disappeared March this year and his where about is still unknown.

According to sources, Mr. Nahim-Koroma’s problem started since 2011 when he put up resistance and went further to stop his family not to initiate his two daughters Rabiatu and Aliyah Nahim-Koroma into the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) locally called bondo society in Sierra Leone.

A family member told this medium that since 2011 to date Abdul Nahim-Koroma’s life as well as his family members are in constant threats.



U.S. Ambassador launches National Early Warning Systems Project, funded by USAID

On Wednesday, October 18, U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria E. Brewer, announced the official launch of the USAID West Africa-funded “Mitigating Election Violence through National Early Warning Systems” (NEWS) project and the inauguration of the National Elections Response Group in Sierra Leone.

Supported by $500,000 from USAID, NEWS is implemented by the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Sierra Leone. The focus is to monitor and identify potential electoral violence triggers and assist government and non-government organizations in Sierra Leone to better mitigate them.
The National Elections Response Group (NERG) is a partnership under the NEWS project, between WANEP, the Inter-Religious Council, the Campaign for Good Governance, government stakeholders, representatives from the National Electoral Commission, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of National Security (ONS) and a number of civil society organizations.

The primary objective of the National Elections Response Group (NERG) is to monitor the elections environment, develop, and recommend strategies and actions to relevant stakeholders with authority to implement necessary response actions to prevent escalation of tensions or incidence of violence for a peaceful 2018 election. Members of the NERG will work closely with WANEP, the Integrated Election Security Planning Committee under the ONS, Provincial and District Election Security Committees – PROSEC and DISEC with an extensive network of civil society organizations and with 60 community monitors across the country to identify potential risks of electoral violence.



PRESIDENT KOROMA SAYS… “I am very proud of Ansumana Usman Koroma”

President Dr Ernest BaiKoroma has informed Sierra Leoneans that, “I am very proud that we have people like Ansumana. We need many more Ansumana Usman Koromas that will go out there as Ambassadors of our country, showing and telling a good story about Sierra Leone.”

Whilst speaking at his Presidential office in Freetown, President Koroma affirmed that, “I am very proud of Ansumana and I am encouraging him to do more by helping his people.”

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