NAIROBI, (The Southern African Times) – The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Friday launched Eastern African Regional Collaboration Centre in Kenyan capital Nairobi to strengthen response to emerging public health challenges.
Mutahi Kagwe, Kenya’s cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health, said the center will coordinate joint research, surveillance and clinical care for infectious diseases including COVID-19, malaria and yellow fever.
“The launch of eastern Africa regional collaboration centre marks a new frontier in the fight against emerging health threats,” said Kagwe.
“It will strengthen the capacity of our public health systems to detect, report and respond effectively to threat of disease outbreaks before they evolve into pandemics,” he added.
The centre is expected to serve as a hub for joint research, training, knowledge sharing on emerging public health challenges.
According to Kagwe, neighbouring countries are expected to deploy experts to strengthen cross-border response to communicable diseases through enhanced surveillance and vaccine deployment.
He said other areas the regional collaboration centre will focus on include revamping laboratory facilities to boost diagnosis of pathogens responsible for the spread of life-threatening ailments.
Amira El Fadil, commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development at African Union Commission (AUC) said the launch of eastern Africa regional collaboration center will help address research, funding, technical and diagnostic gaps that have undermined response to infectious diseases.
She said the centre will support training of additional health workers besides promoting home-grown research on vaccines and therapeutics required to manage emerging diseases.