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Sierra Leone Identifies Priority Diseases

December 2017

Participants and voters of the One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization (OH-ZDP) exercise in Sierra Leone on Nov 17-18, 2017.

On November 17-18, 2017 Sierra Leone held its first One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization (OH-ZDP) Exercise with support from P&R. Using a multisectoral One Health tool, priority endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases were identified in Sierra Leone. Representatives from the country’s human, animal, and environmental health ministries were present for this two-day exercise.

Sierra Leone is no stranger to pandemics with a handful of fatalities recorded during the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak.

Through technical discussions, participants were able to define the criteria for ranking priority diseases in Sierra Leone, some of which included the pandemic potential of a disease, its severity and the country’s capacity to manage the disease. After applying a semi-quantitative tool developed by the CDC, a list of zoonotic diseases and their normalized scores received a final vote.

At the end of the workshop, viral hemorrhagic fever, rabies, zoonotic influenza, swine salmonella, anthrax, and the plague were identified as endemic/emerging zoonotic diseases of greatest concern in Sierra Leone.

The country’s National One Health Platform (NOHP) will develop and update the national preparedness and response plans for the selected prioritized zoonotic diseases with support from P&R and other partners as a follow up to this event.

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