Disease surveillance project gets additional $120m world bank support

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The Word Bank Board of directors has approved the Third Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) Project, committing additional $120 million to the work plans.

John Paul Clark, World Bank Senior Health Specialist disclosed this on Monday at the opening of the ongoing technical sub-committee meeting of the REDISSE project at Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria.

The REDISSE project is a Regional project funded by the World Bank, covering all 15 ECOWAS’ countries and Mauritania, in five-year phases from 2016 to 2023.

The first phase covers three countries, namely Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone, the second phase four countries, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Togo.

The Project has a total of $367.8 million and aims to strengthen disease surveillance and response systems at regional level and in ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania.

Its implementation is in the third phase, covering four countries – Benin, Mali, Niger and Mauritania.

The World Bank specialist said REDISSE project is “now providing credits and grants to 11 countries in and West African Health Organisation (WAHO) with the budget growing to US$400 milion.

Clark said REDISSE is the World Bank’s Flagship investment in both Health Security and the One Health agenda.

Reviewing the implementation of the program, the World Bank expressed displeasure that REDISSE 1 (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal) has a disbursement ratio of only 14%, compelling the downgrading in June 2018 from Satisfactory to Moderate, warning that it could fall to Unsatisfactory “unless the pace of implementation increases.”

The REDISSE 2 (Togo, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria and Liberia) has disbursement ratio of 9%, a big portion of which is for activation of the CERC in Nigeria due to the Lassa Fever, warning also that the project is at risk of ratings down-grade this year.

“As such, we need to take our work here very seriously. We need to see both what is and what is not working well in planning and implementation. What can we do better?

“This is our opportunity to discuss the challenges we face openly, to identify some best practices and to advise each other on how best to move forward towards our objective of building capacity to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats in West Africa,” Clark said.

Declaring the meeting open, WAHO Director-General, Prof Stanley Okolo, charged participants to assess the status of implementation of the recommendations of the first Regional Steering Committee Meting.

The DG represented by Dr. Carlos Brito, said the meeting has a “heavy task” of producing strategy for implementation of the REDISSE Project, stressing “success of the implementation of the project is very important to us.”

While thanking the technical partners – WHO, OIE, RAHC, CCISD, FMx, others, the DG also commended Nigerian Government for accepting to host the meeting.

Mrs Olubunmi Ojo, Director, Disease Surveillance in the Federal Ministry of Health represented Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole.

The two-day technical sub-committee meeting is being attended by all the 15 ECOWAS member States and Mauritania.

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