The network, West African Network for Infectious Disease Surveillance (WANIDS), is to foster cooperation among member countries for the early detection and control of infectious diseases. WANIDS has committed in setting up a structure to aid in identifying swift detection and control of infectious diseases. It will be an integrated regional platform for the collection and sharing of health information for early infectious disease detection, response and control and focus on building the capacity of member countries in that regard. The network was launched at the end of a three-day stakeholder capacity-building workshop in Accra to ensure greater co-operation for the implementation of the tenets of WANIDS.
The workshop brought together representatives from ECOWAS countries, the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank, the Skoll Global Threats Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation. The programme has been instituted following a research conducted by ECOWAS community which established that the outbreak and the resurgence of epidemic diseases in the West African sub-region were the consequences of a weak health system and fragile mechanisms for disease surveillance and prevention in most member countries. In response to the findings, the 47th Conference of the Heads of ECOWAS held in May 2015 mandated WAHO to establish a regional structure for epidemic prevention and control body which was named the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Disease Surveillance and Control.