Safeguarding Africa’s health
Addis Ababa, 2 May 2016
The African Union, led by the department of Social Affairs and working in collaboration with the US-Centers for Disease Control and prevention (US-CDC), the China Center for Disease Control and prevention (China CDC), the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) and the Africa Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) jointly celebrated and presented completion certificates to 9 African epidemiologists who have concluded a 2 month rigorous induction, with the aim of capacitating them to monitor, investigate, report and respond to public health issues, threats and emergencies in Africa.. Some of the epidemiologists will be deployed to the Africa CDC regional collaborating centers (RCCs). The event was held at the African Union headquarters.
The 60 day intensive epidemiology training was a combination of monitoring and risk assessment of public health emergencies, preparedness and emergency response strategies, systems and structures, natural disaster strategies and measures for the prevention and control of infectious diseases among other topics, to improve disease surveillance. The training also included a 10 day visit to China where the epidemiologists visited the China CDC facilities and learnt best practices.
The African Union Commission Director of Social Affairs Amb. Olawale Maiyegun congratulated the epidemiologists for completing the training successfully. He reminded the fellows that this moment will go down in history as they are the pioneers of the Africa CDC surveillance team, in an effort to safeguard Africa’s health. He thanked all the partners for supporting Africa CDC’s objective of establishing sustainable and resilient health systems.
The Africa CDC will put in place a structure to support African countries in their efforts to effectively monitor public health, respond to emergencies, address complex health challenges and build needed capacity. The Africa CDC, as an African-owned institution, will provide a strong platform for technical coordination, ultimately strengthening public health systems, preparedness, surveillance and interventions across the continent. Furthermore, the Africa CDC will build capacity on the continent to respond to public health emergencies including outbreaks, man-made and natural disasters as well as public health events of regional and international concern.
The Commission is preparing to convene the First Governing board meeting set for 9th – 11th May, with the task of vetting and appointing the Director of the Africa CDC and also to formally designate the selected Africa CDC regional collaborating centers (RCC). FA/wzm