Emerging and re-emerging infections are a serious threat to humanity and human development, especially in developing countries where poor health systems and structures exist. With the increase in international trade and travel, the spread of deadly human and animal diseases across borders has become a reality, and hence the need for support and international collaboration. The recent unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia) and its toll on life, property and development is an eye-opener to the world regarding support to develop better health systems in resource-limited countries as an offensive-defensive tool for developed countries.
On Dec 23 to 24, 2015, Dr. Kamara, the manager of National Lab Services Program in Ministry of Health & Sanitation (MoHS), Sierra Leone, visited the P4 laboratory in WIV, and introduced the operating condition of the national lab of MoHS in Sierra Leone before the outbreak of Ebola virus, the kind support from other countries including China, the U.S., Canada and the UK for fighting the disease in Sierra Leone and the later problems need to be countered. According to him, international collaboration and cooperation in Ebola laboratory services delivery in Sierra Leone helped to save lives due to early diagnosis and hence early patient management, whilst building local capacity for national ownership. It is convinced that MoHS and WIV have common interests in doing studies on Ebola virus and the two parties are facing golden opportunity to accelerate cooperation. In future, MoHS and WIV will strengthen the scientific communication with each other.