Hon. Vice President, Ambassador Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh has today, Friday 23rd June, 2017 joined the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Office of National Security (ONS) at the launch of the Sierra Leone National One Health Platform at the Miatta Conference Hall.
The One Health Platform is an innovative, pro-active approach to prevent, detect and respond to future disease outbreaks in Sierra Leone.
Delivering his Keynote Address, Vice President Foh expressed his delight at being part of another history-making event of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, recalling the launch of the Integrated Maternal Child Health Week on 1st June this year.
VP. Foh averred that by the launch of the One Health Platform, Sierra Leone is taking another giant step towards maximising its healthcare delivery system. He pinpointed that by this one giant step, we would now be able to identify, diagnose and prevent or cure diseases that are transmitted from animals to human beings and vice versa.
VP. Foh therefore, congratulated the Ministry of Health and Partners for taking the nation one step further to a country free of the threat of what is referred to as Zoonotic Diseases.
Vice President Foh underscored that by becoming a member of One Health Platform, Sierra Leone is enhancing its Partnership at the International stage and together with our Partners, taking the Global Health Security Agenda to a productive and mutually beneficial level.
He be-moan that in the last three decades, over thirty (30) new human diseases causing organisms have been reportedly identified. Seventy five percent (75%) of these, he said, are of animal origin. “This is a disturbing development to the human race, particularly for developing countries, where challenges in our healthcare delivery systems persist”, he lamented.
VP. Foh warned that given the close animal-human interaction in Sierra Leone, the threat of Zoonotic Disease is real and this, he said, is one of the reasons why the Health Service Delivery system occupies a pivotal Pillar in the Government’s Agenda for Prosperity.
VP. Foh informed his audience that as a country, we now have an International One Health Committee, with multi-sectoral One Health Co-ordination and Technical Committees already established. He averred, that with the the launch of the One Health Platform, we are certainly on the right path to implementing the One Health Approach.
VP. Foh on behalf of His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma thanked all Partners that have supported this initiative financially and with their technical expertise. He expressed hope that together, they will continue to support the One Health Platform, so that we will meet the targets we have set for ourselves as a nation.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency forms part of the programme.
The programme was chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo.
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Office of the Vice President