Cape Town, 05 July 2023 – Africa CDC Southern Regional Coordinating Centre (SA-RCC) in partnership with the Government of the Republic of South Africa successfully launched the Southern Africa Regional Integrated Surveillance and Laboratory Network (RISLNET) in Cape Town, South Africa together with 80 representatives from Member States and public health partner organizations.
The RISLNET Programme is established to support African Union Member States to effectively address public health concerns and strengthen their existing capacities. RISLNET is currently operational in Central and Western Africa Regions.
It also aims to strengthen the goals of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) and Events-Based Surveillance (EBS) by integrating surveillance with laboratory support, and by translating information generated from surveillance and laboratory data into specific public health actions.
In his key note address, Dr. Eduardo Samo Gumo, Chair of the Southern Africa Regional Technical Advisory Committee (ReTAC) officiated the event stating that “diseases do not respect our administrative borders. Infectious diseases, outbreak and epidemics can rapidly spread across the region, continent and beyond if we do not act in a coordinated manner”.
Dr. Gumo further emphasized that the establishment and operationalization of RISLNET is urgent and needed more than ever, because our continent finds itself at a critical crossroad due to the convergence of factors such as population growth, high migration, and climate change.
The RISLNET will enable the integration of regional laboratory and surveillance network capacity in Southern Africa to rapidly identify and respond to public health threats. RISLNET will leverage on existing experiences on health systems strengthening and collaborative research for enhanced region-wide capacity for disease surveillance, preparedness and response.
“There is no substitution for working in partnerships, coordination, and provision of effective leadership,’’ said Dr. Lul Riek, Africa CDC Southern Regional Coordinator.
Following the signing and validation of the RISLNET Framework Member States representatives were urged to move forward as advocates and be champions of the RISLNET in their respective countries, to ensure speedy approval and endorsement by all Ministers of Health in Southern Africa.
The official launch of the Southern Africa RISLNET was attended by representatives from Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini and public health partners including the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), AMREF Health Africa, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), COMESA, African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) as well as the World Bank.
About the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)
Africa CDC is an autonomous health institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions and 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
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For more information:
Ms. Liolisia Kariko| Risk Communication and Community Engagement(RCCE)| Africa Centres for Disease control and Prevention| Southern Regional Collaborating Centre| African Union| email: KarikoL@africa-union.org| M: +260 96 57 55 944 | email: email@example.com| Website: www.africacdc.org| Addis Ababa| Ethiopia| Facebook | Twitter