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JWARG launches Clinical Study on Severe Infectious Disease

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JWARG has intensified efforts to improve bio-prepardness in Nigeria with the recent launch of Clinical Study on Severe Infectious Disease to address epidemics in West Africa.

This Clinical Study is aimed at equipping the Nigerian military with clinical and laboratory capacity in bio-preparedness

The study which involves training and research was initiated by the United States Department of De­fence Walter Reed Pro­gramme, in collaboration with the Nigerian Ministry of Defence Health Imple­mentation Programme (MODHIP).

Speaking at the event , The United States Consul General to Nigeria, Mr John Bray,
Pledged that US would work with the Nigeria military to develop clinical and laboratory capacity, bio-surveillance and response capability as well as evaluate infectious diseases counter measures in Nigeria.

“It is to fill the need of Nigerian national and sub-regional resources for bio-response capability against the highly communicable pandemic threat,” Bray said.

” United States Government strongly believes that healthy people make way for stronger and more stable nation and enhance international security.
Due to our interest in infectious diseases, 2015 marked the beginning of the Joint West Africa Research Group (JWARG) led by the U.S Military HIV Research programme.”

Also speaking , the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni, represented by the Director, Medical Services in the Ministry, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade,  explained that JWARG was born on June,26,2016 out of a bio-preparedness initiative to prevent the re-occurrence of dangerous epidemic diseases ” .

“The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) of 2015 in Nigeria revealed the weak prevention efforts and inadequate disease detection mechanism. It shows lack of sufficient capacity to respond to public health emergencies in the affected countries. “Luckily, the imported outbreak in Nigeria was successfully managed and contained nationwide,” Sheni said.

“after West Africa suffered the brunt of the EVD, former Minister of defense, Lt Aliyu Gusau requested technical support from former United States Ambassador, His Excellency, James Entwistle for improved capacity to manage any future epidemic in the sub-region.”

“The area of emphasis included; the training of medical staff on the management and prevention of infectious diseases, establishment of a fixed bio-containment centre in Lagos, establishment of a diagnostic capacity for the armed forces in the bio-containment facility and provision of technical support for deploying robust response to infectious diseases,” she noted.

Observing that the study was aimed at identifying common pathogens in West Africa that could pose public health threat, Dr. Akindale added ,  “The launch on this day would be followed by a three day bio-preparedness training to strengthen the capacity of participants not only in the area of research but also to be able to detect and respond appropriately and promptly to public health emergencies.”

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