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Stakeholders Confront Public Health System in Africa

  African leaders and global health experts will on Tuesday convene in Kigali, Rwanda, for the second  International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2022).

During a pre-event media parley, the conference organisers said the event aims to significantly advance efforts to strengthen research, innovation and emergency management in Africa.

The organisers are the African Union, Africa’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa-CDC) and the government of Rwanda.

Expected at the formal opening on Tuesday include African Heads of State, Ministers of  Health, leading researchers and scientists.

The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that the conference, which is now in its second edition, aims to build on conversations started at CPHIA 2021.

NAN also reports that the conference is aimed at helping to serve as a catalyst for accelerating progress against the continent’s most significant health challenges and building more resilient health systems.

Key speakers expected on Tuesday include President Macky Sall of Senegal and Chairperson of the African Union, and Édouard Ngirente, Prime Minister of Rwanda.

Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and President Haikande Hichilema of Zambia are also expected.

“There has been an incredible amount of interest in CPHIA 2022 from across Africa and around the world.

Speaking during the media briefing, Professor Senait Fisseha, CPHIA 2022 Co-Chair and Vice President at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, underscored the importance of the 2022 conference.

“It is clear this conference is needed now more than ever.

“Last year’s virtual conference, CPHIA 2021, was a tremendous success and this year’s convening we’re excited to build on that for the second edition.

“We hope to continue using this extraordinary conference as a platform to elevate and advance African voices and solutions for years to come,” Fisseha said.

CPHIA 2022 will feature nine plenary sessions, 14 parallel sessions, 9 abstract-driven sessions, a high-level ministerial session.

Also speaking, Professor Agnes Binagwaho, CPHIA 2022 Co-chair, stated that the conference would bring essential conversations about Africa to Africa.

According to Binagwaho, the conversations will be on topics like pandemic preparedness, increasing local vaccine production, tackling infectious and non- communicable diseases and African leadership in health.

“We are grateful to the Africa CDC and our CPHIA 2022 co-hosts the Rwandan Government for bringing us together this year and driving progress toward the Africa We Want,” Binagwaho said.

Dr Ahmed Ouma, Ag. Director, Africa CDC, said the conference was coming at a critical time when many African countries continued to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that the pandemic had not only exerted enormous pressure on health systems but also sounded the alarm on the need to reform and revitalise the continent’s health system.

Ouma added that the emergence and re-emergence of infectious disease outbreaks such as Ebola and the growing burden of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) further posed a grave threat to the health and lives of millions in Africa.

“It’s time that countries should collectively invest in stronger health system governance, including multisectoral collaboration within countries.

“Africa CDC 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” Ouma said.

Also at the media briefing was Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, Minister of Health, Rwanda.

Nswnzima noted that recurrent outbreaks highlighted the gaps in Africa’e health systems.

Other leaders expected to participate in the conference include Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General at the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Prof Salim Abdool Karim, Director, Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA):

Others are Mrs Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, UNAIDS; Cheikh Oumar Seydi, Director, Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr Monique Wasunna, Director, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, Africa Regional Office, among many others. (NAN)



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