The establishment of the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (ECOWAS-RCSDC) was approved in May 2015 by the 47th Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, with a unanimous decision for Nigeria to serve as host. This decision fits into the framework of the African Union’s initiative of establishing a Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa, which will have regional branches based on the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) of the African Union.
ECOWAS-RCSDC will serve a specialised agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) under the authority of WAHO. The main goal of the RCSDC is to strengthen Member States’ health systems and enhance the region’s capacity for epidemic prevention, detection and control. The establishment of this new Centre was further driven by the lessons from the Ebola outbreak between 2014 and 2015, which affected countries in West Africa.
The West African Health Organization (WAHO) has worked with the Government of Nigeria through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to expedite the implementation and operationalisation of the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (ECOWAS- RCSDC). The NCDC has hosted the RCSDC since its establishment, and will continue to support this transition process.