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Africa CDC to hold 2nd Public Health Conference in Rwanda

by Haruna Gimba

By Iyemah David

The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces its second Annual International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2022), which will take place from December 13-15, 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Dr John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC, and Co-chairs for the official launch of the second Conference of Public Health in Kigali, Rwanda, on Wednesday virtually, said that Africa has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Africa CDC’s inaugural conference, CPHIA 2021, brought together over 12 000 public health stakeholders from across the continent and the world to share scientific findings, collaborate on research and implementation, and chart a shared course towards a more secure future for Africa.

From the seven scientific plenaries, eleven parallel sessions, and eight abstract-driven sessions, there was an overwhelming consensus that it is time for change – Africa must stand up, Africa must unite, and Africa must put in place the necessary systems for it to safeguard the health of its people.

Nkengasong said that at the same time, COVID-19 had created a historic opportunity to build a new public health order that makes health for all a reality across the continent.

“Together, we can build health systems and manufacturing capacities to effectively respond to multiple health threats,” he said.

The CPHIA 2022 Co-Chair and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, Prof.  Agnes Binagwaho, said; “by convening some of the leading figures in public health in Africa, the conference will provide a forum to review lessons learned from COVID-19 and to shape more resilient health systems that can effectively respond to future crises.

“We are eager to see up-and-coming future leaders take center stage in front of their peers as they work to advance public health, scientific education and research in Africa.”

Binagwaho said that COVID-19 had direct and indirect impacts on African health systems, with many essential health services being severely disrupted for extended periods.

“This disruption has threatened the control of major high-burden diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria as well as the prevention of maternal and child mortality and various health screening programs.

“CPHIA 2022 will also address how African health systems have been affected by the pandemic, and the interventions required to get various continental health programs back on track,” she said.

Prof. Senait Fisseha, CPHIA Co-Chair and Director of Global Programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, said that the past 18 months have been full of uncertainty and hardship, especially for women and girls and other marginalized groups, but one clear message has emerged: to build a healthier and more equitablee  future for all Africans, we need African leadership and African-led solutions.

“I am so inspired by the immense talent and expertise we already have on our continent, and in awe of the leadership of Africa CDC. Through this unique platform, we can chart a bold path forward to improve health care for all people,” Fisseha said.

The second edition of the conference is expected to help further Africa CDC’s mission to “strengthen Africa’s public health institutions’ capacities, capabilities, and partnerships to prevent, detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats based on science, evidence-based policy, and data-driven interventions and programs.”

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