China and Sierra Leone on Wednesday vowed to enhance cooperation in the prevention and control of infectious diseases to improve the well-being of Sierra Leoneans.
A seminar on emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, organized by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation, took place in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The seminar convened a group of experts, researchers, healthcare professionals and policymakers in the field.
Xu Jianguo, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering working at the China CDC, said that emerging and reemerging infectious diseases pose significant challenges to health security and socioeconomic development in Sierra Leone. This situation necessitates a comprehensive and coordinated approach integrating surveillance, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research.
Xu stressed the longstanding friendship and cooperation between China and Sierra Leone in public health, particularly during the Ebola outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic in Sierra Leone.
The seminar aimed to bolster cooperation, preparedness and response to these emerging health challenges, Xu said, adding that it aimed to contribute to ongoing infectious disease control efforts in Sierra Leone, ultimately improving the health and well-being of its people.
Charles Senessie, Sierra Leone’s acting health minister, said the rising incidence of diseases like Lassa fever in the country underscores the need for a vigilant healthcare system, robust surveillance mechanisms and proactive measures to curb their spread.
Senessie urged effective collaboration between Sierra Leone and international partners, including China, to strengthen the ability to combat these diseases.
“Through collaboration, innovation and a shared dedication to the well-being of our nation, we can navigate these challenges and build a healthier future for Sierra Leone,” the minister said.