FAO in Ghana

FAO advances Syndromic Surveillance in Public and Animal Health Security in Ghana

Participants at the Meeting

This project is designed to enhance early warning systems, bolster agrifood system resilience, and strengthen One Health competencies among the animal health workforce.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) convened the Regional Consultative Syndromic Surveillance Meeting (RCSSM) from 3 to 5 April 2024, at the Accra City Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

RCSSM aimed to bring together stakeholders and innovators in syndromic surveillance to foster collaboration and promote community engagement in advancing a regional syndromic surveillance agenda. With the participation of 25 stakeholders, the meeting provided a platform for knowledge sharing, idea generation, and networking opportunities. 

The meeting agenda was designed to be flexible, allowing for breakout sessions where smaller groups could workshop ideas and contribute to the larger discussions. Key focus areas included establishing a unified understanding of syndromic surveillance, exploring ongoing efforts related to community-based syndromic surveillance in the African region, and mapping out strategies to enhance syndromic surveillance approaches and tools.

During the opening remarks, Shamsuddin Mohammed, Senior Animal Health and Production Officer of the FAO Regional Office for Africa emphasized: “As we gather for the Regional Consultative Syndromic Surveillance Meeting, I am inspired by the wealth of knowledge and dedication in this room. Over the next days, let us seize this opportunity to unite in our pursuit of stronger syndromic surveillance, embracing diverse perspectives and forging innovative solutions”

"We are thrilled to host the RCSSM in Accra, Ghana, and facilitate discussions that contribute to strengthening syndromic surveillance efforts in our region," said Dr Abebe Wolde, Regional Manager FAO ECTAD West and Central Africa. "By bringing together diverse stakeholders, we aim to foster collaboration and innovation that would ultimately enhance our ability to detect and respond to animal and public health threats."

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Ghana, Emmanuel Allegye-Cudjoe emphasized that “we need to focus on community capacity building, empowering, and taking them into co-creation of transformative action.”

Participants included regional epidemiologists of ECTAD, national project coordinators, national epidemiologists, representatives of the Veterinary Service Directorate and Ghana Health Service in Ghana, representatives from African Union and Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as stakeholders from the Ghana Poultry Network, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working in the animal health sector and Zipline, a private company, working in innovations in the animal health sector, and international organizations working in human, animal, and environmental health sectors.