The African Union Has Launched Its Centre for Disease Control to Tackle Epidemics Like Ebola

Monday, March 23, 2015

Efforts are underway by The African Union (AU) to establish a pan-African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (African CDC) by mid-2015, a development that can bolster the continent’s desire to transform its health practices and promote the welfare of its people.

This idea was first proposed by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and approved by the African Union Commission in 2013 at its 22nd ordinary session in Abuja, Nigeria. “The idea of establishing the Centre has since been discussed in a series of AU summits and extraordinary sessions,” revealed Dr. Marie Goreti Harakeye, Head of HIV/AIDS, TB & OID Division Under the AU Department of Social Affairs.

“The Commission came to a decision to establish an African CDC by taking into consideration the health challenges faced by the continent and the necessity for an accountability framework for health security to protect citizens of Africa and beyond,” Dr Harakeye further stated.

Following recent threats from Ebola and other historical similarities, the Commission has become fully convinced of the urgent need to float a structure that supports member countries in their efforts to effectively respond to emergencies, address health challenges while building the requisite capacity.

According to a draft document which was approved at the 24th AU summit, the Centre will have the mission of addressing priority health concerns in Africa first through prevention and where needed, through detection and response.

The first phase of the centre’s establishment, which will last for 18 months and employ about 10 to 15 staff, is set to start in June at a running cost of $5 million that will be mobilized from member states. The success of the entire plan, however, will be hinged on how well the private sector and other stakeholders can be galvanized around this cause.

Source: Ventures Africa (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases