Africa CDC Launch: Delivering the African public health agenda
Delivering on its commitment laid out in the 2063 Agenda, African countries launched the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) as a continental public health agency. Africa CDC leadership is from African Union member states and the African Union Commission, but its success will depend on strategic collaboration with WHO, other UN agencies and partners.
Africa CDC will focus the first five years into strengthening African capacity in four key areas:
- health-related surveillance and innovative information systems, especially for disease prediction;
- clinical and public health laboratory networks in the five geographic sub-regions of Africa (including working with the African Society for Laboratory Medicine);
- support for member states’ public health emergency preparedness and response plans;
- evidence for improved public health decision making and practice.
The Africa CDC will operate on a decentralised model and as a network, with a headquarters in Addis Ababa and close links with five regional centres in Egypt, Nigeria, Gabon, Zambia and Kenya. Each collaborating centre will be equipped with laboratory and advanced diagnostic capacity to rapidly detect known and unknown pathogens.
The Longitude Prize welcomes the creation of the Africa CDC and hopes that the network will also bolster collaboration between African countries and others around the world, as well as help address antimicrobial resistance in the region.
We are in the early stages of planning a consultative meeting in Africa later this year to attract new teams from the region to compete in the Prize, stimulate debate around the lack of appropriate rapid diagnostic tools, highlight the strengths of African teams, and discuss the specificities of introducing a new test to African settings. We will share more details in due course.