Africa CDC and China CDC have decided to develop a partnership agreement that will strengthen and make collaboration between the two institutions more result-oriented. The decision was taken today during a meeting held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa between delegations of the two organizations.
“We derive a lot of inspiration from how China has set up its CDC in the last 15 years. This is the time for Africa CDC and China CDC to develop the rules of how we work together to establish a strong Africa CDC,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Director.
“China CDC is very open and I personally think it would be useful to set up a joint working mechanism with Africa CDC,” said Prof. Xiao-Ping Dong of the Center for Global Public Health at China CDC.
The delegations of both organizations made presentations on their public health initiatives in Africa and highlighted opportunities to strengthen partnerships.
Dr Nkengasong emphasized the need to make the partnership more strategic so that it would be possible to measure achievements after a period.
“We’re in for a long-term relationship, so we’re looking for areas of partnerships with clear public health outcomes and impact. We should look at what this partnership can help us achieve in terms of what will change in public health practice in Africa because of the partnership. That is where the true impact in public health will be seen at the level of Member States,” said Dr Nkengasong.
He highlighted the priorities for public health in Africa: strengthening National Public Health Institutes, regional surveillance and laboratory networks including cross-border surveillance, vaccine security, disease preparedness and air traffic movement, diagnostics and drugs, and public health workforce.
Prof. Dong mentioned public health initiatives that the Chinese Government has supported in Africa in the past and areas of possible support for Africa CDC. He said China CDC is ready to provide more support as needed.
“We’re willing to contribute a lot of soft capacity to Africa CDC. We just want to find a good way to contribute to public health in Africa and Africa CDC is the unique partner working in this area,” said Prof. Dong.
The government of China has committed to the construction of Africa CDC’s headquarters.