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2nd African Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity

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2nd African Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity

Venue: Lagos Eko Hotel Conference Facility,

Date: July 27th to 29th 2016.

This is the concept note and outline of the 2nd African Voices and Leadership Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Background:

It is critical that Africa hosts indigenous academic and policy meetings to help develop the continent’s own response mechanisms to biological threats and increasing incidence of Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID). These home-grown responses will be aligned with the evolving Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and the “One Health” paradigms developed by the WHO, OIE and FAO. Institutions on the continent that govern prevention, early detection and containment of public health crises caused by EIDs or other biological threats are weak, and regulatory mechanisms relating to sample biosecurity are a major concern.

GET is partnering with the West African Task Force for the Control of Emerging and Reemerging Infections Diseases (WATER), to create the platform to raise National, Regional and Continental awareness, and create opportunities to strengthen capacity development and to empower indigenous response mechanisms.

At the highly productive first African Voices and Leadership EBOLA meeting organized by the same partnership on the 18th January 2015 in Dakar, the DAKAR DECLARATION and RESOLUTIONS were developed aimed at initiating a systematic agenda in the sub-Region.
Since that meeting, many of the resolutions have been acted upon. The Declaration outlined the severe lack of infrastructure and technical capacity for an indigenous response to contain a biological threat from a highly infectious pathogen, resulting almost complete dependence on the developed world for support. This scenario creates an opportunity for the continent to address issues, gain experience and derive biotechnological sustainable capacity, knowledge and intellectual property.

This planned 2nd African Conference on EID and Biosecurity is scheduled to take place in Lagos Nigeria on the 27th to 29th of July 2016, is being hosted by the Lagos State Government Ministry of Health and conference organizers Mothergold. The conference will revisit the Dakar Declaration and focus on some key deficiencies outlined in the Declaration, which include Biobanking, Biodata, Biosafety, Biosecurity, Public Learning and understanding of Science and create a platform to debate a vaccine strategy for the Ebola belt.

General Objective of the Conference:

Focused Objectives:

  1.  Share experiences, best practices, and challenges in addressing Zoonotic Disease in both the animal and human sectors in Africa.
  2. Identify regional and international opportunities for collaboration in support of zoonotic disease prevention and control.
  3.  Fast track a harmonised African Strategy to address the plethora of globally dispersed and regional Ebola related samples and data currently not thoroughly inventoried.
  4.  Opportunity to present the latest breaking research activity and Collaborations from this Ebola outbreak.
  5. Advance the discussion on a Vaccine Strategy for the Ebola belt of Africa
  6.  Open a discussion on Science communication and its role in preventing and curtailing opportunities for public health crises emanating from EID
  7.  Advance discussions on a harmonized indigenous data collection platform and present latest developments in global data gathering, sharing, and security.

Concepts:

Based on the turn of events in the year following the last Ebola meeting in Dakar, the following key themes have emerged that require attention:

1. Topics revolving around EID as an accelerating phenomenon and the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak with the following sub themes:
a. Survivors and survivor welfare
b. Plasma and a Plasmapheresis agenda for West Africa
c. New EID trends Lassa, Zika, MERS, SARS and Influenza.

2. Biosecurity and Biothreat Reduction: Biobanking, Bioinformatics, Biosafety, Biosecurity and Bioethics concerns in the aftermath of the largest Ebola outbreak known to man. To be called “The B5 Session”, will address:
a. GHSA
b. Public health crises management
c. International biosecurity Conventions: BWC and 1540
d. IHR and PVS
e. Infrastructure

3. Public Learning and Understanding of Science (PLUS) and Science Communication (SC):
a. Use of PLUS as a major containment strategy for EID. The Lagos State and West African experience
b. An African Model.
c. The African EID book commissioning.

4. The need for a Vaccine strategy for the Ebola belt of Africa.
a. Leading vaccine contenders
b. Safety Profile
c. GAVI proposal

Participation:

  1. The conference aims to attract the key drivers from the ECOWAS countries involved with policy issues in the following sectors: human health, animal health, security, agriculture, curriculum development in Medicine and Veterinary Schools, biosafety containment facilities and biobanking.
  2. This means at least five (5) participants per ECOWAS country need to be invited and sponsored. Since there are sixteen (16) ECOWAS countries we would have a total of eighty (80) participants.
  3. Six (6) to Eight (8) Representatives from the five (5 ) African regions representing key sectors and institutions making an additional thirty(30) and forty(40) sponsored persons.
  4. Key international Stakeholders. WHO, UN, OIE, AFRO, GPP, GHSA, Security Agencies, Academics, Vaccine industry, Blood and Pharmaceutical Industry, Ethicists, Anthropologists, Legislators, Civil Society, Bio Threat reduction experts and National Agencies involved with surveillance and early response mechanism.
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