To prioritise fungal diseases in mainstream programming in Africa requires a comprehensive evaluation of diagnostic and treatment capacity, an initiative that was taken by mycology practitioners in African Union Member States in collaboration with the Global Action for Fungal Infections (GAFFI) in 2021-2022 through an in-depth multi-country survey covering 18 different diagnostics for fungal diseases.
The initial findings were validated and enriched by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) through five virtual regional consultative workshops conducted in October 2022. Participants included 191 stakeholders from 43 Member States including representatives of Ministries of Health, civil society organisations, mycology experts, dermatologists, and lung disease and HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis care providers.
The diagnostic survey report was then launched at the 2nd International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA), in Kigali, Rwanda, on December 12th, 2022, with different representatives of GAFFI, Ministry of Health, including Dr Hanitriniala Sahondranirina, the Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Madagascar on behalf of the Minister of Health of Madagascar, and different partners from private and public sectors.
Dr Mohammed Abdulaziz, who leads the Division of Disease Control and Prevention at Africa CDC, declared: “The toll of fungal disease in vulnerable patients has gone unchecked for too long. We welcome this report and expect it to galvanise action to implement, in a stepwise fashion, improved diagnostics for serious fungal disease.”
About the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)
Africa CDC is the autonomous continental health agency of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programs. For more information, please visit: http://www.africacdc.org
About Global Action for Fungal Infections (GAFFI)
The high-level objective of GAFFI is to ensure that WHO Essential Diagnostics and Antifungal drugs are accessible to all and aligned to Universal Health Coverage. Vulnerable people from countries in the global south are disproportionately affected, and those afflicted with fungal disease live in misery due to morbidity, the inability to work, and the stigma. Limited diagnosis and poor measurement of disease morbidity means that the true scale of the problem is unknown. GAFFI has been a key global voice for fungal diseases in terms of public and global health since 2013. www.GAFFI.org
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