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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




Press Release : IPRA 2016 Conference Successfully Concludes

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development ‘in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.  


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

Regent village head calls on LAB to tackle domestic violence

The village head for Regent, Ms. Jokomie Browne has called on the Legal Aid Board to help curb the increase in incidence of domestic violence in the Regent Community in the outskirts of the capital Freetown.

Ms. Browne wants the Board to hold outreach events in the village to educate the people on issues of law relating to domestic violence, gender, women’s rights, redress mechanisms and support services for victims.

‘We want to benefit from the Legal Aid Board’s Legal Empowerment Programme because there is an urgent need for one in the community,’ Ms. Browne told the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles on the phone. ‘The situation is desperate. I am afraid if you do not come in now the situation could spiral out of control.’

The call follows series of referral of victims of domestic violence to the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown. The latest victim sent to the Board is one Baindu who was battered by her boyfriend Borbor Abu in the presence of their one year old son.


Society -Local News

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.

During his statement, Mr Shen said for over 40 years China has been fulfilling its commitment to Sierra Leone with regard the agricultural technical cooperation project.

He said China will continue to assist Sierra Leone in its developmental strides by providing technical support and assistance and by also providing training to help develop the human resource capacity of the workforce.



30 Staff of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development will go China for Seminar on Economic Planning

Thirty (30) staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will depart the shore of Freetown to China on 14th August 2017. The purpose of their trip is to attend a seminar on Medium and Long-Term Economic planning for Sierra Leone. The National Development and Reform Commission of China will organize the seminar from 16th August to 7th September 2017 in the capital city of Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Freetown, Mr. Shen Xiaokai met with the 30 participants at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) on 2rd August 2017. In his remarks he told the participants that in December 2016, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo visited China, where they had high level bilateral meetings with Chinese Government Officials. 

He said this seminar is as a result of those meetings. “When China makes a commitment, China will fulfil it” he reiterated. He said The Ministry of Finance is one of the most important ministries in this country, therefore this seminar was designed specifically to meet the needs of the ministry.



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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