From April 25th to 28th 2022, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) organized the Member States and Stakeholders workshop to validate and launch its five years Non-Communicable Diseases, Injuries and Mental Health (NCDI/MH) strategy. The workshop aimed to provide a platform for updating Member States and other stakeholders on the strategy development process, sharing strategic priorities and the implementation plans for final inputs prior to the launch, and finally discussing the next steps on implementation of the strategy.
The workshop brought together over one hundred and fifty (150) participants from across the continent and the world. 42 Member States participated in the workshop including six (6) Ministers of Health (Gambia, Egypt, Botswana, Burundi, Namibia and Ethiopia) representing the 5 regions of the African Union. Various Africa CDC technical partners attended the meeting as well asnd civil society organizations representing people living with NCDs on the continent.
Due to the emergence of infectious diseases such as Ebola outbreaks and COVID-19 pandemic, Africa CDC has been focusing its efforts on tackling communicable disease, mainly infectious diseases. Opening the workshop Dr John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC, highlighted that five years ago the Africa CDC governing board endorsed the Africa CDC strategic plan that included both communicable diseases and NCDs. ‘’We are here to begin a new journey that says that we must harness all assets within the African Union Commission to address NCDIs and Mental ill health to provide additional value in the entire value chain and spectrum of fighting NCDIs and Mental ill health”.
‘’One of the biggest lessons learnt from COVID 19, is the need for Africa to build and invest in its health systems, including NCDs, Injuries and Mental Health, as reflected in the new Public Health Order for Africa. Through this detailed, consultative process, a comprehensive situational analysis has been developed that includes: four (4) guiding principles, six (6) strategic objectives for Africa CDC action and resulted in two detailed implementation plans (one for NCDIs and one dedicated for Mental health)’’. ‘’ Dr John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC’’.
‘’We are convinced that, it is the opportune time for use of the platforms that we have been testing in health emergencies to bring NCDs into that same area of work to quickly and effectively achieve success’’ said Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Deputy Director at Africa CDC.
‘’NCDs are recognized as a national challenge by the political leaders of Botswana. There continues to be challenges concerning NCDIs and Mental Health data availability in the country, it is hence our hope that in collaboration with Africa CDC we will be able to close this gap. We would like to assure Africa CDC of our commitment as Botswana to ensure our support for operationalising this newly developed and validated strategy’’. Hon. Sethomo Lelatisitswe, Deputy Minister of Health, Botswana.
‘’This is a wonderful initiative getting everyone in Africa together to validate and launch this important document. It is a unique opportunity to be built upon for a successful implementation phase of this process. Africa CDC should coordinate and facilitate the interactions between Africa CDC and Member States as well as between Member States themselves for a successful implementation of this strategy on the continent.’’ Hon. AHMADOU Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, Gambia.
‘’The Health agenda of our continental and our respective countries is shifting towards the so called triple burden of diseases. The government of Ethiopia has started giving priority to NCDs and Mental Health, particularly in the last ten (10) years focusing on the integration of NCDs and Mental Health services at the primary health care level. The Government of Ethiopia thank and congratulate Africa CDC for taking the leadership and initiative to tackle this growing burden of NCDIs and Mental ill health. We affirm that we will continue to work with Africa CDC and with Member States to implement this strategy in the bigger vision and dream of realization of the African Union agenda 2063’’. Hon. Dr. Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin, Minister of Health, Ethiopia.
‘’One of the lessons learnt from COVID 19 is that good diet and nutrition are very important for a healthy body. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the African Union adopted Nutrition and Food Security as the 2022 theme of the year. We all need to rally around and assist Africa CDC and Member States in implementing this plan as collective action is key to addressing NDIs and Mental ill health. We should work together to suppress the effects of NCDIs and Mental ill-health by reducing risk factors of diseases.’’ H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment at African Union Commission.
‘’Multi-sectoral action is a key component of NCDIs and Mental ill health prevention and control. The UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for NCDs and Mental Health is a response to Member States demand. It will help countries unblock bottlenecks in the policy-to-action continuum, including supporting the establishment of governance, and legislative and regulatory frameworks that support countries to scale up actions on NCDs and Mental Health. We invite Africa CDC to join a partnership on advocacy, resource mobilization and exploration of ways in which we can synergize our activities to catalyze action on NCDIs and Mental Health.’’ Dr. Mamka Anyona, Lead policy &Strategy, UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for NCDs and Mental Health.
‘’The Strategy development process has been a bottom-up approach. Many consultations were conducted with various stakeholders, including three (3) consultations with Member States. The final six (6) strategic objectives and the two (2) detailed implementation plans result from these consultations and demands from stakeholders.’’ Dr. Mohammed Abdulaziz, Head of Disease Control and Prevention Division, Africa CDC.
On the last day of the workshop, the AFRICA CDC NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES & INJURIES PREVENTION AND CONTROL AND MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION STRATEGY (2022-26) was validated and launched. The next steps on implementing the strategy were discussed and documented.
Strategy document below:
About Africa CDC Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union which supports Member States in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases. Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org — END —