Heads of State and Government meeting on Tuesday adopted the Declaration on Accelerating Implementation of International Health Regulations in Africa. The Declaration seeks to address the increasing public health events and recurrent epidemics on the continent and their huge socio-economic impact. Many African countries have not adequately implemented International Health Regulations to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of diseases.
“A fundamental part of a government’s basic duty is to protect its citizens against health insecurity, risks and emergencies, it is therefore important that AU Member States meet the International Health Regulations core capacities in disease outbreak prevention, preparedness and response” said Her Excellency Amira El Fadil, the Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission.
African Heads of State and Government committed in the Declaration to accelerate the implementation of International Health Regulations at national, provincial and local levels with a clear road map and monitoring mechanisms. They further committed to mobilise resources and put in place multi-sectoral mechanisms to accelerate its implementation.
The Declaration tasks the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, African Union Commission, World Health Organisation and other stakeholders to work together to provide the necessary technical support to Member States to accelerate implementation. The Declaration further directs the African Union Commission, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation to report on its implementation within the context of the collaborative framework for improving health security in Africa. The Declaration directs these key players to submit a biennial report on the implementation of the regulations to the Assembly.
Ahead of the Assembly the Executive Council of the African Union endorsed the decision to allocate 0.5% of the AU annual operational budget to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is working with partners to further strengthen International Health Regulations core capacities and improve health security in Africa.