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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.

Sierra Leone recently held its first One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization (OH-ZDP) Exercise on November 17-18, 2017 with support from P&R. This two-day exercise was held to identify and prioritize endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases of greatest national concern in Sierra Leone, using a multisectoral One Health tool, and inputs from the country’s human, animal, and environmental health ministries.

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

Through technical discussions, participants were able to define the criteria for ranking priority diseases, some of which included the pandemic potential of the disease, 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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