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China-aided Africa CDC headquarters helps deal with pandemics: AU official


The China-aided Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) headquarters serves as an important platform for African countries to contain pandemic in a well-coordinated manner, a senior African Union (AU) Commission official has said.

AU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment Josefa Sacko said that with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa saw the vulnerability of its health sector and the need for having a continental disease prevention and control center.

“With this big center here for disease control, it means that we want to gain our own responsibility, our own program,” Sacko told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly held from Feb. 18 to 19 at the headquarters of the AU in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The AU commissioner said the Africa CDC headquarters project would help strengthen the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions and African doctors besides manufacturing African-made medicines.

“So it is a very good thing. We are going to solve the problem instead of going and importing medicine; we can as well use our own medicine,” Sacko said.

Speaking about the partnership between China and Africa, the commissioner said the cooperation between the two countries is expanding over time with China having offered the African Union headquarters complex and now the Africa CDC buildings to the continent.

“When we enter here (the African Union headquarters), we are proud of the facilities. When you go to (Africa) CDC today, there you have a big facility with a lot of labs. That is what we need,” she said.

The recently inaugurated Africa CDC headquarters project in Addis Ababa is about to start operations to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks across the continent, based on data-driven interventions and programs.

In January this year, senior officials from the AU Commission and the Africa CDC, representatives of African countries, Chinese officials as well as diplomats from the Chinese mission to the AU and high-level dignitaries witnessed the completion of the Africa CDC headquarters project on the southern suburb of Addis Ababa.

According to the AU, the new Africa CDC headquarters is expected to become one of the best-equipped centers for disease control in Africa, allowing Africa CDC to play its role as the technical institution coordinating disease prevention, surveillance and control in the continent in partnership with the national public health institutes and ministries of health of AU member states.

Source : Xinhue