ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has emphasized the need to advance efforts to strengthen research, innovation and emergency management in Africa's public health sector.
The Africa CDC, the African Union's specialized public health agency, said in a statement issued late Monday that the 2nd International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2022), which is underway in Kigali, Rwanda from Dec. 13 to 15, envisaged to "significantly advance" developments in Africa's public health arena.
The conference that brings together African leaders, ministers of health as well as leading researchers and scientists "helps to serve as a catalyst for accelerating progress against the continent's most significant health challenges and building more resilient health systems," the Africa CDC said.
The Africa CDC said the conference comes at a critical time when many African countries continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said the COVID-19 pandemic not only exerted enormous pressure on health systems in Africa, but also sounded the alarm on the need to reform and revitalize the continent's health system.
The Africa CDC further noted that the conference also comes as Africa witnessed emergence and re-emergence of infectious disease outbreaks such as Ebola and the growing burden of non-communicable diseases posing a grave threat to the health and lives of millions in Africa.
"It is time that countries should collectively invest in stronger health system governance, including multi-sectoral collaboration within countries," the Africa CDC statement quoted Ahmed Ogwell, acting director of the Africa CDC, as saying.
The Africa CDC chief said the AU specialized public health agency has presented its vision of a new public health order, which aims to ensure that effective health systems exist before a crisis and remain resilient during and post-crisis.
"CPHIA 2022 will shine a spotlight on this new approach to public health shaped by local leadership and regional solutions," he said.
Senait Fisseha, CPHIA 2022 co-chair, on her part stressed the critical timing of the conference in terms of bringing Africa's public health sector into the spotlight.
"There has been an incredible amount of interest in CPHIA 2022 from across Africa and around the world. It is clear this conference is needed now more than ever," the statement quoted Fisseha as saying. ■