RISLNET was established by the Africa CDC to integrate all public health laboratories, surveillance, and emergency response assets, with a vision of a safer, healthier, integrated and stronger Africa.
”“To prevent, detect and rapidly respond to emergencies we need strong partnerships to effectively and efficiently deploy public health assets across Africa. Strengthened collaboration among Africa’s laboratory systems is a prerequisite for building a resilient continental health security architecture.”
This was the view of Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, at the launch of the Regional Integrated Surveillance and Laboratory Network (RISLNET) in West Africa.
RISLNET was established by the Africa CDC to integrate all public health laboratories, surveillance, and emergency response assets. RISLNET envisions a safer, healthier, integrated and stronger Africa, whereby Member States are capable of effectively responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases and other public health threats. In order to better prepare for future pandemics, the Africa CDC, in conjunction with West African Health Organization, together launched the initiative in West Africa in April 2022.
The launch of RISLNET in West Africa was the culmination of a three-day workshop where representatives identified and discussed ways to strengthen existing regional laboratory networks and ensure that they are adequately supported by robust national tiered networks. Participants also discuss and
agreed on a framework for developing and implementing national laboratory policies and strategic plans.
The West Africa RISLNET will focus on diseases most prevalent and endemic in the region to foster specialised expertise in disease control and prevention on particular diseases, becoming hubs to share across the region while similarly receiving expertise from other regional hubs, thus maximising the limited resources available. This launch is a significant milestone in a funding
partnership between the Africa CDC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, managed by the Africa Public Health Foundation.