Cape Town, South Africa – 4 November 2023: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Injuries and mental health conditions constitute serious impediment to achieving the vision of the “Agenda 2063” to build an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens. These conditions cause substantial human losses and economic costs across African Union Member States today; and they are expected to become the continent’s leading cause of death and disability by 2030.
The drivers and risk factors of these conditions are largely determined in sectors other than health, such as agriculture, trade, education, labor, and transport amongst others. Therefore, a multi-sectoral approach is a key requirement to curb down the burden of NCDs, injuries and mental health conditions on the continent. As reflected in the second Africa CDC strategic plan (2023-2027) building on the NCDs, Injuries and Mental Health strategy priorities, there is a strong need to align regional economic communities (RECs) and partners to establish, strengthen and coordinate multi-sectoral action for NCDs, Injuries and Mental health.
To support implementation of the NCDs, injuries and mental health strategy, improve coordination across the different stakeholders in Africa, the first-ever African Union Taskforce on Non-communicable Diseases, Injuries, and Mental Health was launched during a planning meeting organized in Cape Town from 01st to 03rd November 2023.
Opening the meeting, H.E Amb. Rossette Nyirikindi representing the Bureau of the Chairperson, thanked Africa CDC for convening the meeting and committed to working closely with Africa CDC in order to deliver the mandate set out for the taskforce. Representatives from different AU departments, institutions and organs, technical partners (WHO, World Diabetes Foundation) and stakeholders such as the African Tobacco Control Alliance, Brands on Mission took part in the launch.
During the three days meeting, the participants followed with attention the presentations by eminent experts on the social, political, environment and commercial determinants of NCDs, Injuries and Mental health to understand the multisectoral action for NCDs, Injuries and Mental health and the role of the African Union. The meeting was also an opportunity for the taskforce members to discuss and agree on priority policy areas and develop an action plan. The taskforce will initially focus on tackling the commercial determinants of health, road traffic injuries, and mental health stigma. Common amongst all three areas is a high attributed disease burden, continental priority for intervention as per the Africa CDC strategic plan, as well as the potential for effective multisectoral action. The next steps include the finalization, costing and validation of the taskforce action plan by the Africa CDC, AU leadership and policy organs.
For more information contact:
Dr. Mohammed Abdulaziz – Head, Division of Disease Control and Prevention (DCP)
Africa CDC, MohammedAb@africacdc.org
Dr. Adelard Kakunze – Lead, Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Unit
Africa CDC, KakunzeA@africacdc.org
Ms. Ndahafa Nakwafila – Senior Communication Officer
Africa CDC, NakwafilaN@africacdc.org