As part of the efforts to strengthen Africa’s response and preparedness in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Union Commission through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have jointly designed a program to support on-going efforts in Africa.
The joint program aims to coordinate COVID-19 response to recovery efforts along with Member States, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Faith-based Organizations (FBOs) to ensure coordinated cooperation and communication and to adopt a holistic approach. The four joint interventions areas are:
- Regional coordination and building of synergies;
- Socio-economic, health, governance and political impact assessments;
- Capacity building and knowledge sharing;
- Risk communication strategies and sensitization campaigns;
These areas are aligned with both the Africa CDC’s mandate and the continental strategy on COVID-19 preparedness and response as well as the UNDP’s regional approach on response to recovery.
Specific focus on surveillance; laboratory; counter-measures guidance; healthcare preparedness; risk communications and social engagement; supply-chain management continues to be led by the Africa CDC.
“Africa CDC is delighted to work with UNDP to implement the joint continental strategy for COVID-19 outbreak. Our strategy is clear: we want to capacitate the Member States so they can quickly detect and mitigate the effects of the disease in Africa, and, if widespread transmission occurs, prevent severe illness and death,” said Africa CDC Deputy Director, Dr. Ahmed E. Ogwell Ouma.
“We’ve been through a lot on the continent and although we have learnt lessons from Ebola. The COVID-19 threat in Africa is multi-dimensional. UNDP is proud to work with the African Union through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to not only draw on learnings from Ebola but so that we can prepare better, fight back and recover stronger.” Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Africa Director