Professor Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health has announced that Lagos is set to host the 8th Annual GET (Global Emerging Treatment) conference 2022.
The 7th African Conference on One Health and Biosecurity was also held in Lagos late last year and welcomed experts from across the globe to discuss the effective universal approach to addressing biosecurity threats.
The press briefing was held yesterday and had in attendance Dr. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Chineye Okafor, Surveillance Officer of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Ayodotun Bobadoye, the COO of the GET Consortium alongside other dignitaries.
Dr Abayomi disclosed that this is the 4th time the GET has approached the Ministry of Health to host the program in Lagos. He further stated that the outbreak of the Ebola virus and the Coronavirus has necessitated the dire need for deep and global collaboration to control and prepare for whatever biological threat may occur in the future.
Hence, the Lagos State government, since 2015, has partnered with the GET Consortium, the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as other critical global bodies. The aim is to ensure the control of further outbreaks and to set up appropriate infrastructures. This includes equipping appropriate personnel in the development of pathogens of high consequence.
Dr Ayodotun, the COO of the Consortium further stated that the biggest threat will come from a pathogen that we know nothing about. Therefore, there is a need for adequate preparation and collaboration.
The 9th conference will be held at The Civic Centre, Lagos State from the 2nd to the 4th of November 2022. The summit will address top emergencies which include collaborative surveillance, community protection, and partnership among others.
Professor Akin Abayomi, the Honorable Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, spoke on the exponential increase in Africa’s population which has led to overcrowding in cities. Lagos continues to suffer the impact of inbound migration as the city records a 5 million population increase from last year. He asserted that now more than ever, there is a need to protect the nation from biological threats.
The responsibility of the government, according to the commissioner, was to prevent such a situation from arising. Hence, the need to prepare for mitigation and adaptation.
Professor Abayomi also outlined the Tripod of Biological Response, disclosing the need for balance in managing public health crises. He stated that in between pandemics, Lagos State has begun urgent preparations as peacetime is the best time to develop the needed action plan.
Dr Richard Munang, Deputy Director of, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) gave a critical overview of the impact of biosecurity threat to the continent of Africa. According to the Director, Africa is heading towards an apocalypse as millions of people will die from the resultant effect of antimicrobial diseases.
Dr Richard noted that Africa cannot afford to ignore statistics as they point to real-life stories of households suffering from biosafety risks. With biosecurity threats causing million-dollar damages each year, the continent must seek urgent response measures and embrace one health.
The global impact of climate change also requires that emission must be curtailed by over 24%. Dr Richard stated that the effect of solar drivers is one notable response that can actually do wonders in addressing the issues of climate change.
Notable speakers at the event include Professor Rebecca Katz, Director of, the Center for Global Health Science, Dr Kirk Douglas, Director of the Center for Biosecurity Studies, University of West Indies, Mr. O’Neill D Hamilton, CARICOM Regional Implementation Coordinator at the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, among others.
The second day of the 8th annual conference on One Health and Biosecurity kicked off yesterday. The speakers at the event spoke on the effective ways Africa can address the issues of public health.
Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Director General of the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) pointed out the opportunities and challenges of public health surveillance. Surveillance, according to the director, is everybody’s business and should be a part of our normal schedule. This is because events happen in the community first. Therefore, every individual should know how best to respond when such situations occur.
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Dr Ifedayo also noted that surveillance cannot happen without tests. This has prompted the Nigerian government to set up one molecular biology lab in every state. He noted that these labs are well-equipped to handle another outbreak that may come up.
The director asserted that the importance of surveillance is the data it provides which then leads to action. However, there is a need to strengthen human capital and health workforce development. He reiterated that the problem of Nigeria was not a shortage of resources as the vision outweighs the financial capital.
The event also hosted William Ogara, a professor of Public Health at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. The speaker outlined the ways the public can respond to climate change. The aim of the “One Health” system according to the Professor is to create a unified approach for balance in addressing and also optimizing the health of people, animals, and the environment. One Health stresses collaboration across countries to enable effective responses.
Other notable speakers at the event include Dr Sarah Carter, Principal at Science Policy Consulting LLC, Dr Abdourahmane SOW, Head of Epidemic and Public Health Laboratory Systems and Networks, WAHO, Raksha Toolsi, Business Development Manager (Africa), and Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA).