13 July 2011
Africa has probably the highest burden of infectious diseases in the world, which results from not only the socio-economic setting of Africa but also to such drivers of infectious diseases as the high human-livestock-wildlife interaction and land use which are unique to Africa. Yet overall Africa has the least capacity for the risk management of this infectious disease threat.
South Africawill host the first ever, ‘One Heath Conference in Africa 2011’. The Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS) in collaboration with one of its key member institutions, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is convening the Conference on 14th and 15th July 2011, at the NICD in Johannesburg.
The Conference will bring together scientists from Africa, Asia, Europe, Russia, Australia and USA, there will be representatives of the South African National Department of Agriculture and Department of Health, as well as representatives of the regional and international organisation, especially World Health Organisation, SADC, and the Food and Agricultre Organisation.
This 2 day conference is unique in that it will bring world class scientific leaders who will present more than 50 scientific papers covering themes on:
- Emerging Infectious Diseases, such as Ebola and influenza
- Climate or Weather Dependent Infectious Diseases, such as Rift Valley fever and malaria
- Inter-species Spread of Infectious Diseases, such as tuberculosis
- Infectious Diseases of Economic Importance, such as foot-and-mouth disease
The theme of the conference will be One Health in the context of scientific evidence for the fight against communicable (i.e. infectious) diseases of people and animals, which threaten human life, human welfare, food security and economic development of Africa.
The NICD plays a special role within the SACIDS fraternity in terms of its scale of operation, scientific expertise and uniqueness of its facilities, which include the Special Pathogen Unit that is the only one in Africa that is able to handle safely even the most dangerous pathogens, such as Ebola, and the new virus that was isolated by the NICD in 2008 and which has come to be known as LuJo virus.
The conference is timely in Africa as it will stimulate discussion aimed at improving preparedness and response to infectious disease challenges prevalent in animal and human population in this continent.
Note to Editors
- SACIDS is a ONE HEALTH consortium of southern African medical and veterinary, academic and research institutions involved with infectious diseases of humans and animals in the DRC , Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania (progressively also plant health),In an innovative partnership with world-renowed centres of research in industrialised countries.
- More information on the First One Health Conference can be viewed at http://www.sacids.org/kms/frontend/?m=101
Issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service.
For more information please contact Nombuso Shabalala on 011 555 0545 or 082 886 4238.