Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 12, December 2019— The Board of the World Bank Group has approved a total of $250 million to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, and the Republic of Zambia to strengthen continental and regional response systems to combat epidemics and advance critical public health priorities.
The funding from the World Bank will allow Africa CDC, Zambia and Ethiopia to strengthen Regional Integrated Surveillance and Laboratory Networks (RISLNET) and Centres of excellence linked to the Regional Collaborating Centres. RISLNET will focus on strengthening transportation and the processing of samples for testing at the Africa CDC-affiliated network of laboratories; procurement of reagents and specialized materials for samples testing; developing innovative information and data sharing systems for disease intelligence; developing multimedia information products designed to increase public awareness of disease risks.
“The funding from the World Bank will ensure that we continue to implement the Heads of State and Governments declaration aiming at accelerating the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) as a cornerstone for our health security” said H.E Amira Elfadil, African Union (AU) Commissioner of Social Affairs.
She highlighted that Africa CDC was launched in January 2017 as a specialized technical institution of the African Union charged with the responsibility to promote the prevention and control of diseases in Africa.
The Africa CDC strategic objectives include: the establishment of early warning and response surveillance platforms to address in a timely and effective manner all health emergencies; assisting Member States in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and others stakeholders to address gaps in International Health Regulations compliance; supporting Member States in health emergencies response particularly those which have been declared public health emergency of international concern emergencies as well as promotion and diseases prevention through health systems strengthening, harmonizing disease control and prevention policies and surveillance systems in Member States; and supporting Member States to build public health workforce through medium and long term field epidemiological and laboratory training programmes. “
As the continent continues to integrate, it is obvious that a disease threat anywhere rapidly becomes a threat everywhere in Africa, as such requiring a closer collaboration and networking between National Public Health Institutions (NPHIs) across the continent. “We are so excited to be working closely with NPHIs in Zambia and Ethiopia to enhance our ability to rapidly detect and response to disease threats, and to share data and information in real-time.” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC.
Welcoming the World Bank’s approval of the funding as a historic and visionary decision, Dr Nkengasong noted that the Bank has once more exercised remarkable leadership and commitment to strengthening critical health systems and networks as they did in the West Africa’s Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Project. He further noted that the funding would greatly enhance Africa CDC to implement its mission, which is to support the strengthening of Africa’s public health institutions’ capacities, capabilities and partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks based on science, policy, and data-driven interventions and programs.
Media inquiry Contacts:
Mr. James Ayodele | Principal Communication Officer, Africa CDC| E-mail: Ayodelej@africa-union.org | Tel: +251 11 551 7700; +251 953912454
Mr. Gamal Eldin Ahmed A. Karrar | Senior Communication Officer | Directorate of Information and Communications (DIC) | E-mail: GamalK@africa-union.org