26.2 C
City of Banjul
Sunday, July 21, 2024
spot_img
spot_img

Ecowas regional laboratory reference network meeting concludes in Banjul

- Advertisement -

By Aminata Kuyateh

The government of the Gambia through the Ministry of Health hosted the highly anticipated Economic Community of West African States regional laboratory network.

The meeting, which brought together leading scientists, health officials and policy-makers from across the west African region, aims to strengthen the capacity of regional laboratories in diagnosing and managing infectious diseases.

- Advertisement -

The convergence was held at the SDKJ-ICC and is scheduled to run for four days. It attracted representatives from all the 15 Ecowas member states, including high-profile delegates from Germany Development Bank (KfW) and Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The primary objective of the meeting is to enhance collaboration and harmonization of laboratory practices among member states, with a focus of diagnostic services. The discussions are centered on several key areas among which includes: laboratory information management system, biosafety and biosecurity, entomological surveillance of arboviruses and quality management system.

In his opening remark on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. Babanding Sabally, DPS underscored the importance of regional cooperation in combating infectious diseases.

- Advertisement -

Dr. Sabally highlighted the significant progress made by Ecowas regional laboratory reference network since its inception, noting the pivotal role it has played in improving diagnostic capacity across member states. He also emphasized the need for continued investment in health infrastructure to sustain these gains. 

Dr Sabally stated that the meeting is expected to culminate in the adoption of a comprehensive action plan aimed at enhancing the Ecowas laboratory network’s capacity. This plan will outline specific strategies for improving diagnostic service, promoting regional cooperation and ensuring sustainable development of laboratory infrastructure.

“In order to achieve all our targets in health  we may ensure that our labs have to function very well, there is no secret that laboratory services in our region are struggling. however, the epidemic of covid is a wake up call for all of us”, Dr Sabally concluded.

Dr Sabally lauded the efforts of the ECOWAS member states in strengthening their public health systems. He stressed that robust laboratory networks are indispensable for achieving universal health coverage and combating both endemic and epidemic diseases.

Portfolio manager at KfW, David Blohm stated the critical role of the laboratories in the global health security agenda. David emphasized the importance of strong laboratory networks in early detection and response to outbreaks.

Join The Conversation
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img