The east and central Africa (ECA) region is a global hotspot for emerging infectious diseases (EID), associated with recurrent outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Rift valley fever (RVF)) and detection of viruses emerging elsewhere that are capable of causing high morbidities and mortalities such as highly pathogenic influenza, Zika, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). While significant knowledge gaps that drive disease emergence remain, prior studies have identified high human density, diversity of wildlife species, and forest vegetation as key factors in occurrence of EIDs. Over 80% of the land in the ECA is remote with poor physical and public health infrastructure: >35% of human illnesses go undetected, making it particularly ideal for new pathogens to emerge and spread undetected for long periods. We propose to establish an Emerging Infectious Disease Research Center (EIDRC), headquartered in Nairobi but with surveillance distributed throughout the region. Nairobi provides comprehensive infrastructure, including state-of-the-art BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories, good travel connections to regional countries through air and/or road services, and hosts offices of World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), agencies that coordinate human and animal outbreak responses in the region.
|Effective start/end date||1/06/20 → 31/05/25|
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