Africa: AUDA-NEPAD Launches Its COVID-19 Response Plan

6 April 2020
press release

Johannesburg — The coronavirus pandemic is currently putting a lot of strain on Africa’s health systems beyond its limits in curbing the exponential spread of the disease. In the face of the growing prohibition on the export of many medical technologies and priority medicines, the continent is already experiencing shortages of medical products required by medical staff to efficiently fight the spread of the virus.

This situation, unfortunately, further highlights the consequences of Africa’s reliance on imported finished generics and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). For a long time, the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD has been raising awareness about this over-dependency and has deemed it necessary to set up initiatives such as the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa and its associated business plan to alleviate the phenomenon.

At continental level, the African Union has acted swiftly to establish a Coronavirus Fund with commitments already totalling USD20 million. At national level, most African countries are implementing lockdowns, testing (of suspected cases) and contact tracing. The downside of these lockdowns, if prolonged, is their negative impact on socio-economic activities. In this regard, the AUDA-NEPAD short-term response and support to Members States is geared towards slowing down the pandemic, knowing more about how COVID-19 is spreading and lessening the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

AUDA-NEPAD is in the process of launching its COVID-19 Response Plan of Action. It is a comprehensive, coherent and multidimensional plan aimed at mobilising the necessary human capacity and expertise of the Institution, under the leadership of Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer.

The AUDA-NEPAD COVID-19 Response Plan of Action is a proactive, efficient and a direct response in enhancing continental coverage and improving access to sustainable and resilient health services, while ensuring the protection of Africa’s economic foundations.

Cognisant of the need to make provision for the ecosystem that would be affected by the crisis, the COVID-19 Response Plan of Action will mainly focus on the following seven thematic areas: Health Service Delivery; Human Resources for Health; Research, Development, Innovation and Local Manufacturing; Education and Training; Skills and Employability; Food and Nutrition Security; and Financing.

This comprehensive set of responses which if expected to reach their full potential, must be fully supported not only by institutional actors, but also by private sector and civil society, within the context of the principles of collective consciousness and shared responsibility.

By launching the COVID-19 Response Plan of Action, AUDA-NEPAD aims to set up, along with other African Union competent institutions, a coordinated and effective plan in addressing this exceptional health crisis.

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