A herd of cattle crossing a sandy road.

Improving pandemic prevention in West Africa

Regional Programme Support for Pandemic Prevention in the ECOWAS Region

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Cofinancier

    European Union (EU)

  • Country

    Region of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), country focus on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, Nigeria and Ghana

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2021 to 2024

  • Products and expertise

    Social development



Zoonoses are infectious disease outbreaks transmitted from animals to humans. They are very common in West Africa and lead to many problems. Zoonoses can be effectively contained if various animal, environmental and human health organisations work together in a coordinated manner.

This approach is called ‘One Health’. It has not yet become sufficiently established in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This makes it difficult to prevent and control mass diseases regionally, and jeopardises the health of people in the affected regions.


The One Health system, which is designed to prevent and control pandemics, is being implemented consistently throughout the ECOWAS region.

Participants in a simulation exercise stand together in front of the Nigerian Disease Control Centre


The project supports the ECOWAS Commission, the West African Health Organization (WAHO), the Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (RCSDC) and the Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC) in jointly establishing a transnational system to prevent and control pandemics.

The project is made up of the following concrete actions:

  • Support and advise the pandemic coordination centres in the project’s six focus countries: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Togo;
  • Establish and expand a digital pandemic early warning system;
  • Implement a system that trains healthcare staff;
  • Promote coordination and communication between the regional health institutions and the institutions of the ECOWAS member states;
  • Support a pandemic prevention programme that specifically targets women and men.

Last update: December 2023

Additional information