Africa China fifth roundtable endorses key policy recommendations on disease control and prevention
China supporting continent-wide efforts to strengthen disease surveillance, emergency preparedness and response
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2 April 2015- Ahead of the operationalisation of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in July 2015 African and Chinese officials met from 26 to 28 March 2015 in Beijing, China to discuss strengthened health collaboration. The roundtable endorsed policy recommendations on disease control and prevention including ways to engage new partners and build strong health systems. The meeting particularly focused on ways to support the African CDC’s continent-wide work in disease surveillance, emergency preparedness and response.
“We deliberated on a set of policy recommendations that we will consider at this year’s ministerial gathering where we will call for strengthened dialogue between China and African countries” said Dr.
Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission, “the roundtable committed to tailoring Chinese support to African health priorities and increased Chinese and African investments in health” he added.
The key policy recommendations from the roundtable include strengthening health collaboration between China and Africa governments. The meeting further recommended collaboration in the development of resilient and sustainable health systems to support the goal to reach universal health coverage, provision of adequate healthcare and financial protection of all citizens. African and Chinese pharmaceutical companies and the China Chamber of Commerce for Imports and Export of Medicines and Health Products were urged to explore the means of collaboration including joint ventures, technology transfers and shared industrial parks.
The historical cooperation between China and Africa on health has reached another level with the recent China response to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. The China CDC is strongly committed to support Africa in strengthening health systems in particular its establishment of the African CDC, in line with the AU heads of State and Government decisions. Towards that end a team of three experts from Chinese CDC will be attending the April African CDC taskforce meeting on the sidelines of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug control taking place from 13 to 17 April 2015. The Chines experts will subsequently be seconded to the AU for one month to provide further technical support.
The AU Assembly in its Decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 554(XXIV) of January 2015 formally endorsed the establishment of the African CDC and “expressed immense satisfaction for efforts made by the Commission to speed up the process for the establishment of the Centre by mid-2015, pursuant to the relevant Executive Council and Assembly decisions”.
As part of their official visit African Union officials also attended a seven days study visit on the operation of disease control and prevention system and the International Conference on Ebola.
Commitments to building strong health systems from African Union and partners have led to significant progress across the continent. This includes the dramatic reduction in malaria deaths, a decline in HIV incidence and renewed efforts to get maternal health services to those in hard-to-reach areas. International aid from donors has traditionally complemented these efforts, but new and innovative partnerships are becoming increasingly important, specifically with other countries in the Global South. South-to-South cooperation allows African countries to exchange experiences and expertise with other countries that have faced similar health challenges, and that share similar health goals.
African Union Commission