04 September 2023, Addis Ababa: Today, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) launched its first training workshop on Bioinformatics at its state-of-the-art laboratory and training facility in Addis Ababa, to provide intensive bioinformatics training on how to manage, process and analyse pathogen genomic data, a valuable skillset given the expansion of genomics capacity on the African continent.
The training forms part of Africa CDC ambition, to expand collaborations and networks between and among participants and institutions and open new frontiers in public health surveillance for disease outbreak prevention, preparedness and response, especially in the era by which an increasing risk and frequency of emerging and re-emerging threats are eminent. Twenty (20) public health practitioners from ten (10) African Union (AU) Member States participated, to learn about bioinformatics analysis of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for data, NGS workflows, metadata standardisation, and data sharing, in the context of infectious diseases, with relevance to Africa.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Deputy Director General at the Africa CDC said, ‘‘We are thrilled to launch our training workshop at the new facility. This workshop is testament to our commitment to build a resilient African public health workforce and ecosystem through capacity enhancement and knowledge exchange’’.
Dr. Ogwell Ouma’s remarks emphasize the critical need to expand and accelerate the use of molecular diagnostics, pathogen genomics and bioinformatics for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, given the rise and increasing risks of diseases on the continent and globally.
“Expanding bioinformatics expertise is critical to translate the power of genomics into actionable information for routine and accurate pathogen genomics surveillance in Africa”, said Dr. Yenew Kebede, Head of Division of Laboratory Systems and Networks at the Africa CDC.
Dr. Sofonias Kifle Tessema, Genomics Program Lead at Africa CDC, expressed his enthusiasm and the significant step taken towards the shared goal of creating a healthier Africa, to foster a knowledge-sharing culture. ‘‘By providing a platform for professionals to come together, learn from each other, and harness their collective expertise, we are building a stronger defense against existing and emerging health threats.”
The training is supported by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) through the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM).
For more information contact Dr Sofonias Tessema | firstname.lastname@example.org| Programme Lead, Pathogen Genomics| Africa CDC
Ms. Ndahafa Nakwafila| Senior Communication Officer | Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention| African Union| email: NakwafilaN@africa-union.org | M: +251 92 99 79 820 | email: email@example.com | Website: www.africacdc.org | Addis Ababa | Ethiopia | Facebook | Twitter
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 on Africa CDC, please visit http://www.africacdc.org.