Supporting pandemic prevention in the ECOWAS region

Project description

Title: Regional Programme Support to Pandemic Prevention in the ECOWAS Region
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: ECOWAS region with a focus on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, Nigeria and Ghana ​​​​​​​
Lead executing agency: Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the Regional Center for Surveillance and Disease Control (RCSDC)​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2021 to 2024

Handing over protective gear to ECOWAS. Copyright: © GIZ


Zoonoses are infectious disease outbreaks transmitted from animals to humans. They are a prevalent feature of the epidemiological situation in West Africa and a heavy burden for the countries affected. Combating zoonotic diseases requires a coordinated, cross-agency approach: One Health. This means that the different areas of animal, environmental and human health work together.

While this approach is already being implemented in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), it has not yet been sufficiently established. This makes regional prevention and control of epidemics more difficult and exposes the population to significant health risks.


The ECOWAS population has better protection from infectious diseases.

Entering data in the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management & Analysis System (SORMAS). Copyright: © GIZ


The project works with the ECOWAS Commission, the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the Regional Center for Surveillance and Disease Control (RCSDC). It supports the organisations in establishing a transnational system for pandemic prevention and control.

The project focuses on promoting the RCSDC, strengthening early warning systems and helping to establish a regional crisis response team. It also promotes the core competencies in accordance with international health directives.

To this end, the project cooperates with international actors and German development cooperation health projects. 

Activities include:

  • Strengthening the competencies of the National Coordinating Institutions for pandemic prevention and control in the six focus countries
  • Improving coordination and communication between regional actors and the member states
  • Training health personnel
  • Expanding digitised surveillance and outbreak management

In addition, the project continues to support national and regional partners in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last update: February 2022

Participants in a simulation drill at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. Copyright: © GIZ