On the margins of the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly (WHA76), in Geneva, Switzerland, from 21–30 May 2023, The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) hosted two side-events in addition to several high-level engagements with multilateral and bilateral partners.
Under the leadership of H.E. Dr Jean Kaseya, the Director General, Africa CDC hosted a High-level Ministerial side event on Community Health Programs in Africa, under the theme: What will it take for effective institutionalization and sustainability?
The Director General also led the High-level Ministerial meeting to launch the technical committee for the local production of health products and technologies. The ministerial meeting was co-hosted by Africa CDC in partnership with the Secretariat of the COVID-19 Commission, comprising the Private office of the President (POP) of South Africa and supported by PATH.
Furthermore, Africa CDC shared the Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) progress, which is geared toward reaching the 60% goal for African vaccine manufacturing by 2040. This included the establishment of a ministerial technical committee for African health commodities manufacturing; and the identification of presidential champions to drive the manufacturing of health commodities agenda for Africa.
As a major milestone for Emergency Preparedness and Response during WHA76, Africa CDC, WHO-AFRO, and WHO-EMRO, under the leadership of WHO HQ, launched a Joint Action Plan for Pandemic Preparedness Prevention and Response. During this launch, the Director General reaffirmed his commitment to continued engagement with the global health community to strengthen Africa CDC’s relationship with the WHO, especially the AFRO and EMRO regions, for a cordial working environment aimed at achieving Africa CDC’s strategic vision and executing its mandate across the continent.
The Joint Emergency Preparedness and Response Action Plan (JEAP) is a five-year strategic collaboration between Africa CDC and WHO to address emergency preparedness and response (EPR) in Africa. It outlines the vision and responsibilities of each organization and defines six collaborating areas with activities to be implemented at the country level. JEAP leverages the unique capabilities of both organizations and builds on existing frameworks to achieve impact across critical areas, including genomic sequencing, stockpiling of emergency supplies, and workforce readiness and deployment.
Other prominent Africa CDC engagements with multilateral partners and donors during the week of WHA76 included: Consultative meeting with African Health Ministers to discuss the three (3) ongoing discussions and negotiations for refund in the global health architecture; promoting a common African position in these negotiations, and highlighting the need for Africa to be ready for the next pandemic. Additionally, a High-level Ministerial Dialogue was held to deliberate on how to improve the Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery from Public Health Emergencies by making Amendments to the International Health Regulations. Dr Kaseya joined a Roundtable discussion on the sustainability of regional manufacturing capacity and took part in the launch of the International Pathogen Surveillance Network.
The Director General had engagements with several multilateral and philanthropist organizations to strengthen partnership ties and reassured Africa CDC’s commitment to the shared vision between these partners. A key highlight and fun activity that Africa CDC participated in was the fourth edition of “Walk the Talk”, an annual exercise event that coincided with WHO’s 75th anniversary year and provided an opportunity to promote solidarity and encourage physical and mental health.
Dorothy Wambeti Njagi, Senior Communication Officer – Policy, Health Diplomacy & Communication: Africa CDC | Tel: +251 940 559 950 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
G. Nekerwon Gweh, Communication Officer – Policy, Health Diplomacy & Communication; Africa CDC | Tel: +251 945 502 310 | Email: GwehN@africa-union.org