The West African region is frequently affected by recurring epidemics of measles, cholera, meningitis, Lassa fever and yellow fever, and since 2014 with the the Ebola virus disease, for which the national health systems are not adequately prepared to provide an appropriate response. In addition, very often the region is faced with natural and/or man-provoked disasters which can engender health problems. These epidemics lead to restrictions on free movement of people and goods, with a negative impact socioeconomic development.

Problem Statement       

The low capacity for the prevention and management of epidemics and other health emergencies accounts for numerous deaths and impedes regional integration.

Programme Objective  

Build the capacities for surveillance, disease prevention, response and resilience to epidemics and emergencies.

Programme Outcomes  

The capacities of countries and the region in epidemic disease surveillance, prevention, response and resilience strengthened.

Programme Components 

  • Prevention and surveillance of epidemic prone diseases
  • Preparation and response to epidemics and other emergencies

Specific Objectives

  • Strengthen the capacity of Member States and the region for resilience, prevention, detection, surveillance and response to epidemics and emergencies
  • Coordinate regional surveillance and response

Major Interventions  

  • Establishment of the Regional Centre for Disease Prevention and Control including strengthening of the  network of laboratories
  • Strengthening cross border and inter-sectorial collaboration;
  • Establishment of a regional early warning and rapid intervention unit;
  • Building the capacities of Member States for the application of International Health Regulations (IHR);
  • Establishment of a regional fund for epidemic control

Intermediate Outcomes   

  • Regional Centre for Disease Prevention and Control established and operational
  • Regional Rapid Intervention Unit established
  • Countries trained in the application of the IHR
  • Regional Fund for Epidemic Control established.


One Health Technical Meeting of ECOWAS Member States

From to


Epid W40

- Epidemiological situation of Lassa Fever,
- Epidemiological situation of Yellow Fever,
- Epidemiological situation of Measles,
- Epidemiological situation of cholera,
- Ebola Virus epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Update.

West African Health Organization
01 BP 153 Bobo-Dioulasso 01 / Burkina Faso
(226) 20 97 01 00 / (226) 20 97 57 75
(226) 20 97 57 72