KIGALI– There is a need for greater solidarity among African nations and global partners to advance local manufacturing of health products, strengthen emergency preparedness and response, and expand universal health coverage, health experts have said.
Health experts made the call on Thursday during the closure of the second edition of the International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2022) held in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
The conference shone a spotlight on the New Public Health Order for Africa, a roadmap for sustainable health outcomes and improved health security championed by the African Union and Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
The New Public Health Order, which draws on lessons from Africa’s past experiences in outbreak response, is guided by principles of local ownership, leadership, equity, innovation, and self-reliance.
During the three-day event, participants called for a new approach to empower African countries to be prepared for the health challenges of the future.
“These conversations and moments showcase what we are all doing to realize a New Public Health Order for Africa.
And the conversations showed that we have come a long way since we launched the New Public Health Order in 2020.
But we have more work to do before every one of our brothers and sisters has equal access to quality healthcare,” said Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, acting director of Africa CDC.
The conference also called for increased investments in African health systems.
The event attracted over 2,500 participants from 90 countries across the African continent and beyond.
Participants included leading scientists and researchers, and representatives from the private sector, civil society, and global health and development organizations.
During the conference, there was an awarding ceremony of the Continental Award for Emergency Health Workers.
The award recognized the important role of emergency health workers in reducing the spread of infectious diseases and promoting public health in the community.
This year’s award went to Nigeria’s Ameyo Stella Adadevoh for her contribution to averting the spread of Ebola with her exceptional fearlessness and leadership.
On the sidelines of CPHIA 2022, key partnerships in the interest of Africa’s health priorities were also established.
The Africa CDC and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly enhance supply security and facilitate equitable access to quality approved anti-malarials, thereby maximizing the use and health impact of existing products on the continent.
The collaboration aims to support African Union member states in accelerating and scaling up African manufacturing, building on existing capacities, and developing new ones to support manufacturing.
The MoU outlines Africa CDC and MMV’s commitment to work with partners to ensure funding and procurement of locally manufactured quality-assured medical commodities.
The sessions of CPHIA 2022 focused on Africa’s most pressing health challenges and topical issues, including re-emerging and high-burden infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, mental health, the role of women leaders in public health, and digital health innovations. – Xinhua