First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo called on African scientists, Wednesday, to do all they can to deal with the challenge of emerging infectious diseases on the continent.
Speaking at the 3rd African Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity the First Lady on August 16, 2017, in her address noted that she believes the continent has “enough brilliant minds to deal with our own challenges” through innovative solutions.
She further noted that the 2013 Ebola outbreak which started in Guinea and subsequently led to loss of about 11,000 lives and almost 1 million infections on the continent.
She added the outbreak should be a constant reminder to us that as a continent we cannot afford another such devastating outbreak though the rest of the world have come our aid at various times when confronted with healthcare challenges.
Mrs.Rebecca Akufo -Addo also said that she is mindful of the limiting effect of political instability, food insecurity, malnutrition, poor health care and lack of energy among others on Africa’s capacity to effectively deal with infectious diseases like Ebola, Yellow fever, Meningitis and Lassa fever.
However, she stated that if stakeholders work together with a concerted and sustained effort and be proactive in providing cutting edge research and innovative solutions to infectious diseases then Africa will be on a sure way to addressing these challenges.
She stressed that “a nation’s ability to create, acquire, and utilize scientific and technological know-how, is now widely acknowledged to be a major determinant of its capacity to improve its people’s quality of life”.
She commended the Global Emerging Pathogen Treatment Consortium for creating the platform to bring together scientist across the continent for an academic and policy based meeting that will address response mechanism to biological threats and increasing incidences of Emerging Infectious Diseases in Africa.