The African Union (AU) has announced a total of 250-million-U.S. dollar financial support from the World Bank Group to strengthen continental and regional healthcare response systems being implemented by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), and the governments of Ethiopia and Zambia.
The financial support made by the Board of the World Bank Group, which is shared among Africa CDC and the governments of Ethiopia and Zambia, mainly aimed “to strengthen continental and regional response systems to combat epidemics and advance critical public health priorities,” an AU statement issued on late Friday read.
The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Amira Elfadil, said 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.”
Elfadil further noted that the Africa CDC, which was launched in January 2017 as a specialized technical institution of the 55-member pan African bloc, “charged with the responsibility to promote the prevention and control of diseases in Africa.”
John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC, who welcomed the World Bank’s approval of the funding as “a historic and visionary decision,” said that the Bank “has once more exercised remarkable leadership and commitment to strengthening critical health systems and networks as they did in West Africa’s Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Project.”
Nkengasong also 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 and partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks based on science, policy, and data-driven interventions and programs.
“We are so excited to be working closely with national public health institutions 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,” the Africa CDC Director said.
According to the AU, the latest funding by the Bank is expected to allow Africa CDC, Zambia and Ethiopia to strengthen Regional Integrated Surveillance and Laboratory Networks (RISLNET) and centers of excellence that are linked to the Regional Collaborating Centers. Enditem