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Africa CDC partners with WHO to tackle emergencies

New era of redefining how continent deals with health, humanitarian and climate crises

Kampala, Uganda | AGENCIES | The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) have launched of a Joint Emergency Preparedness and Response Action Plan (JEAP).

This pioneering five-year strategic collaboration will boost emergency preparedness and response efforts throughout, including humanitarian crises triggered by conflict to climate-change induced disasters, and the 100 disease outbreaks that Africa battles every year.

The Plan is designed to tackle these challenges and thus ensure disease outbreaks during humanitarian crises and otherwise are managed efficiently.

“Africa CDC is proud to partner for this important continental strategic plan,” said Dr Jean Kaseya, Director General of the Africa CDC.

He said joining forces with WHO will significantly improve CDC Africa’s ability to safeguard the health of African populations during times of crisis.

“Together, we will build resilient health systems and ensure a coordinated and effective response to emergencies across the continent,” he said.

“The collaboration between the Africa CDC and WHO exemplifies the power of partnership in global health,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. She said JEAP will bolster the institutions collective efforts to fight public health emergencies, saving lives and protecting our communities.

“We are proud to stand with Africa CDC and work towards a healthier and safer future for all Africans,” she said.

In an inspiring take, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean said what he called “This visionary collaboration” will breathe new life into the efficiency of current coordination mechanisms, strengthen institutions, and ultimately help us deliver quality healthcare services to our communities.

He said: These efforts are galvanizing the commitments from governments, health agencies, and stakeholders to strengthen health emergency preparedness, detection, and response efforts. Through collective action and unwavering commitment, we will build resilient systems, enhance capacities, and safeguard the well-being of our communities. This partnership is a testament to our unwavering dedication to a healthier, safer Africa”.

The JEAP underscores the shared vision of Africa’s two leading public health institutions – to strengthen emergency preparedness and response and health systems on the continent. It builds on existing frameworks and initiatives while capitalizing on the Africa CDC and WHO’s unique capabilities and resources.

It is aligned with the Africa CDC’s New Public Health Order, WHO AFRO’s Regional Strategy for Health Security and Emergencies (2022-2030), and WHO EMRO’s four-year strategy for the Eastern Mediterranean region to address health emergencies.

The JEAP strengthens emergency preparedness and response across six priority areas of action namely; strengthening surveillance intelligence and genomic sequencing for quicker detection, stockpiling emergency supplies at newly established sub-regional hubs to improve emergency response operations (70% of response activities during emergencies relate to such supply chain measures), and deploying first responders within 24-48 hours of a disease outbreak.

Most critically, this ground-breaking collaboration outlines impactful initiatives to be implemented in unison with countries to enhance the continent’s capacity to detect, monitor, and respond swiftly to health emergencies. In a first-of-its kind collaboration, the JEAP serves as a guiding beacon for targeted emergency response interventions and embodies the importance of cross-cutting collaboration, knowledge sharing, and resource mobilisation.

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