Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases is driven by various anthropogenic factors such as



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Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases is driven by various anthropogenic factors such as:

  • Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases is driven by various anthropogenic factors such as:

  • Genetic and biological factors -microbial adaptation to macro- and micro-environmental changes

  • Environmental factors - climate change, changes in ecosystems, and changes in human and animal population densities

  • Socioeconomic and political factors - increasing international travel and commerce, social inequality, poverty, conflict, famine, lack of political will

  • economic development and land use changes



20 outbreaks of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) have occurred since the virus was first recognized in humans in 1976

  • 20 outbreaks of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) have occurred since the virus was first recognized in humans in 1976

  • The 2014 Ebola outbreak was unprecedented in size and severity

  • December, over 20 000 persons had been infected and close to 8000 had died, with 99% of cases originating in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone



The risk of re-emergence or outbreaks of EVD and other emerging infectious diseases such as Lassa fever, dengue, cholera, Marburg fever, and yellow fever remain in the region

  • The risk of re-emergence or outbreaks of EVD and other emerging infectious diseases such as Lassa fever, dengue, cholera, Marburg fever, and yellow fever remain in the region

  • Weak healthcare system, lack of access to resources, recent civil conflicts and their aftermath and the prevalence of informal settlements, with overcrowded living conditions and weak hygiene infrastructure, are key among the broader social determinants

  • How do we ensure that future infection events do not become epidemics and unravel into a complex political, environmental, medical, economical, and public health emergency?



Current epidemic of Ebola virus serves as stark reminder

  • Current epidemic of Ebola virus serves as stark reminder

  • Ongoing pandemics of TB, HIV/AIDS is worrisome

  • Transboundary migration are additional risk factors

  • Massive urban in-migration, increased population density, expansion of urban slums, create a variety of public health challenges and the potential for catastrophic epidemics

  • Most of the emerging diseases appear to be zoonotic

  • Which efficient network of public health intervention measures are needed?



Develop adequate science-based risk management policies

  • Develop adequate science-based risk management policies

  • Establish adequate surveillance system, with strong laboratory networks

  • Develop and implement improved environmental monitoring practices

  • Promote Community engagement in all of the above

  • Establish a Network of Health Information Management







The specific objectives of the project are as follows:

  • The specific objectives of the project are as follows:

  •  To establish a laboratory at Njala University to perform molecular and serological testing on human and animal samples for infectious diseases.

  • To train a pool of laboratory experts that can perform these tests in a safe and reliable way leading to high quality results.

  • To make the newly established laboratory services at Njala University attractive and provide laboratory support to the general public health and veterinary services in Sierra Leone.

  • To train a pool of laboratory experts to design and execute research projects that will provide evidence-based rational interventions in infectious disease control.

  • To create a pool of trainers that can provide training modules in basic laboratory diagnostic techniques on infectious diseases at Njala University.



Strengthen Veterinary and Public Health laboratories in Njala University to:

  • Strengthen Veterinary and Public Health laboratories in Njala University to:

  • Ensure rapid and safe sample collection

  • Sample collection, transportation and handling

  • Rapid and accurate sample testing

  • Timely communication of results



Based on documented presence in Sierra Leone and the potential to cause pandemics or severe epidemics:

  • Based on documented presence in Sierra Leone and the potential to cause pandemics or severe epidemics:

  • Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers

  • Ebola viral disease by Ebola virus including the closely related filovirus, Marburg virus

  • Lassa fever caused by the Lassa virus

  • Rift Valley fever caused by the RVF phlebovirus

  • Rabies, caused by Lyssaviruses

  • Highly pathogenic Influenza viruses

  • The Global wake call for Zika has also raised concern for inclusion into the mini projects



No fully functional laboratories at Njala University for the ongoing projects

  • No fully functional laboratories at Njala University for the ongoing projects

  • Laboratory specialists are lacking, which is the ultimate vision of RNE Post-Ebola project.

  • Electric supply very erratic, but there is room for improvement.

  • There is no regular equipment maintenance schedule and training of technicians for installations, repairs and maintenance of laboratory equipment, and laboratory analytical work are lacking



Laboratory staff interviewed and three currently employed

  • Laboratory staff interviewed and three currently employed

  • Training on biosafety, biosecurity and good laboratory practices completed

  • Laboratory renovations completed

  • Drafts on mini projects developed and under review by partners

  • Equipment, some reagents and some consumables procured and received



Project intervention for data collection and reporting

  • Project intervention for data collection and reporting

  • Initial target populations are the chiefdoms within Moyamba district

  • The laboratory will function as a second line laboratory where samples from patients or animals suspected of viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF) and other zoonotic infections will be tested

  • Data will be collected at the request of the health workers, veterinary workers, government or other stakeholders such as NGOs, hospitals or development agencies.

  • Geographical area of the study sites will be determined by the emerging mini projects of the selected diseases. The location of the mini-projects may also differ per project.

  • These activities are presented graphically in the Gantt chart (see next slide)





In order to successfully implement One Health among countries in West Africa, the development of adequate science-based risk management policies is essential.

  • In order to successfully implement One Health among countries in West Africa, the development of adequate science-based risk management policies is essential.

  • The global community has the responsibility for strengthening skilled manpower and infrastructure capacity in these low-resource countries in West Africa in order to effectively prevent and control diseases at the interface of human, animal, and environmental health and make the world a safer place.

  • The One Health paradigm therefore, requires working across discipline and administrative barriers; this is a crucial component for effectively tackling complex One Health issues.



Upgrade the level of technical knowledge and expertise of current and new staff via training of trainers, training and exchange visits

  • Upgrade the level of technical knowledge and expertise of current and new staff via training of trainers, training and exchange visits

  • Enhance the ‘one-health’ concept regarding emerging outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, in particular viral haemorrhagic fevers

  • Upgrade lab facilities and equipment to facilitate routine diagnostic testing

  • Integrate lab services into the national health machinery

  • Develop, implement and sustain a quality assurance system

  • Initiate the implementation of a quality management system based on ISO15189:2012.

  • Expand beyond the present scope forging increased partnerships at national and international levels with the view to establish a three-storey complex as Njala University Central Laboratory for field operation.






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