Nigerian Virologist, LASU Don, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Anjorin Charges On Virus Surveillance

Kunle Adelabu

-Honoured by WHO Centre

A Nigerian Virologist, Dr. AbdulAzeez A. Anjorin, who doubles as the Head, Department of Microbiology, and Team Leader for Influenza and Other Respiratory Tract Virus (IORTV) Research, at the Lagos State University, has, in far away Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, charged world leaders and stakeholders in health sector on the need for consistent surveillance of deadly diseases around the world.

The scholar, said that it is through concerted efforts at surveillance that deadly virus that are ravaging different parts of the world can be eradicated.

He gave the charge at the just concluded 5th International Conference on Mass Gatherings Medicine under the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health, held at the Hilton, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Anjorin, at the end of his lecture, was honoured by the Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine (a WHO collaborating Center). He was presented with a special plaque by the Director General of the Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine GCMGM, Prof. Anas Khan.

The 5th International Conference for Mass Gatherings Medicine (ICMGM) with the theme, “Legacy in Global Health Security”, featured insightful and groundbreaking research discussions from World renowned experts in Mass Gatherings Medicine, including from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, EMRO, CDC, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Brown University, King Saudi University, amongst others, as well as experts in Emergency and Travel Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Public health, Microbiology and Vaccinology from over 30 different countries including Australia, Germany, South Africa, Asia, and the presentation from the Emeritus President of the World Society for Emergency Medicine.

Dr. AbdulAzeez Anjorin, who is the Founder/ Principal Investigator for African Infectious Diseases Multidisciplinary Research and Grant (AFIDMURG), served as one of the invited Guest Speakers from Africa at the international conference, and he delivered a paper presentation titled, “Disease Surveillance in Laboratory Services”.

The speaker conceptualized surveillance as a process of gathering information for deliberate action of tackling such a problem at various levels. He called for the involvement of stakeholders in the process, especially where there is mass gathering.

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“Surveillance is a dynamic and fundamental process and an ongoing systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data for public health dissemination and to develop local, national, regional and international policies for three classes of people – those who will implement interventions and carry out public health action; the public who need to have information in order to evaluate public health practice, and those who need information for personal action”, he said.

“What is much more important than bio – securing and bio – safety has to do with surveillance. It is a very important phenomenon that all of us have to be involved in. LASAA fever is endemic in Nigeria, Ebola in Africa, Dicteria starting from Nigeria and currently circulating in West Africa, Antar and Nipah viruses are all here in Asia among others.”

Dr. Anjorin stated that with consistent surveillance, viruses or diseases like Ebola, measles, polio, zika virus, dicteria, antar and monkey pox among others, can be effectively tackled.

He charged countries around the world to ensure that surveillance is done for diseases that are ravaging the world, especially where there are mass gathering i.e. for football, hajj.

He identified Effective pathogen/disease monitoring; Detects, characterizes, and response to infectious disease; Signal alerts, and outbreak preparedness; Investigates epidemic and outbreaks of unknown aetiology; Monitoring the effectiveness of relief interventions and Intersectional – laboratory collaboration & surveillance networks, as roles of surveillance in laboratory services.

The presentation ended with learning objectives on infectious disease surveillance, explaining the classical aetiologies for global continuous monitoring, the essence and types of surveillance in laboratory services, along with the tools for disease surveillance, communications to foster laboratory networks, best practices and qualify assurance.

Dr. Abdul-Azeez Anjorin graduated from both Yaba College of Technology, and the Lagos State University, before obtaining a PhD from the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos. He had several trainings at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, ISIRV/CMC Respiratory Virus School in Vellore and the Global Virus Network (GVN) training at the Institute of Human Virology University of Maryland School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and NIH, Bethesda; as well as Argonne National Laboratory BV-BRC, University of Chicago, Lemont Illinois, USA.

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