Lagos Partners GET on Biological Threats, One-Health

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Lagos Partners GET – Photo credit: Lagos State Ministry of Health

The Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment (GET) Consortium and the Lagos State Ministry of Health are partnering to host a three-day discussion on one-health and biosecurity in the state.

With this collaboration, efforts will be made to continue bolstering the health security of the African continent in order to counter biological threats and build on previous progress in combating various new infectious diseases.

The conference, dubbed the 8th African Conference on Health and Biosecurity, will take place at the Civic Centre in Lagos from 2 to 4 November, 2022, with the topic “Strengthening Health Security and Mitigating Biological Threats in Africa”.

Giving details about the conference at a news briefing recently, State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said, “The hosting of the conference in Lagos is significant, explained that Lagos State being a low-line coastal city with high population density and a commercial hub in Sub-Saharan Africa, is vulnerable to biological threats, making it important for the state government to improve its preparedness against biological threats and build appropriate infrastructure to manage and mitigate dangerous pathogens of high consequence.”

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He also noted that the conference is the fourth in a series of conferences organised by the Lagos State Government in partnership with GET, and the eight held around West Africa and the African continent by the consortium; to help develop a biosecurity roadmap and increase African continent resilience towards building capacity to deal with pathogens of high consequence.

He averred that Lagos will be the chief recipient of the expertise that will be shared at the conference as the host, adding that the state government will also use the opportunity of the conference to build collaboration that will help continue to strengthen its biosecurity roadmap.

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Speaking in the same vein, the Chief Operating Officer of GET Consortium, Dr Ayodotun Bobadoye, said “Over 400 participants from 30 different countries of the world are expected to participate at the conference, adding that the conference is a transdisciplinary conference that will bring together different disciplines and different sources of knowledge to address emerging challenges in the area of health.

“With the increase in frequency and intensity of biological threats in infectious diseases in recent years, there is no better time to organise a conference to discuss mitigating biological threats than now.”

In order to achieve peace and sustained economic progress, Bobadoye asserted that all governments—whether at the national, sub-national, or regional levels—must take the issue of biosecurity and one-health seriously.

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Dr Walter Kazadi Molumbo, WHO’s country representative for Nigeria, noted during the briefing that the conference will assist operationalise WHO’s one-health strategy in enhancing and improving Africa’s capacity to address health security.

He mentioned that the WHO is collaborating closely with Nigeria and the Lagos State Government to change strategies from outbreak exchange to preparedness, detection, and response. He also mentioned that the WHO Director-General recently unveiled new plans for helping nations prepare for and respond to emergencies.

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