World Bank provides $10m grant for disease surveillance in West Africa

world-bankThe World Bank says it has provided $10 million grant to improve disease surveillance and response systems in ECOWAS countries.

The Bank announced October 31, 2013 that it has given the grant to the Africa Catalytic Growth Fund for the project known as the West Africa Regional Disease Surveillance Capacity Strengthening Project.

In 2008-2009, 14 of the 15 ECOWAS countries experienced at least one outbreak of meningitis, and half experienced two outbreaks, and according to the World Bank the number of meningitis cases tripled during this period.

“The project will build the capacity to identify outbreaks at an early stage and take action at both the local and regional levels,” the Bank said on its website.

To be implemented by the West African Health Organization, the project is expected to help countries to establish or upgrade their “disease surveillance capacity and adopt the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Strategy” laid down by the World Health Organization.

Under the project, laboratory workers and other health staff will be trained on how to use a common framework to report and respond to the first signs of deadly diseases like meningitis, yellow fever, Lassa fever, cholera, polio, measles and dengue in their districts.

By Ekow Quandzie

1 Comment
  1. Apostle Rubie James says

    While the efforts of the World Bank is commendable, they must do more to support Afrikan owned businesses, economic development and sustainability within rural areas and small townships; they must address open sewage, drainage and sanitation problems that contribute to these health issues and provide ‘on-site- educational sessions to prevent such out brakes. The root of the cause must be affectively dealt with versus the donation of money to any organization to spend a large portion of the allocated funds on research and overhead with less going to actually curtail the problematic situations that occur. I currently live in the USA and even I can see where some of the health issues can be prevented. To allocate funds for “surveillance” is like putting a small bandage on a wide Gaping wound! I say stop padding the already deep pockets of large organizations, who most often have lost touch with the community, and go to the community leaders to ascertain that needs are meet and the problems properly identified and dealt with efficiently and effectively.

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