Africa CDC response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Dr Amadou Sall
Institut Pasteur de Dakar
The African Union, Africa CDC, in collaboration with WHO on 22 February 2020, convened an emergency meeting of all 55 ministers of health to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the meeting, they agreed on a continent-wide strategy for COVID-19 that will allow for greater coordination, collaboration, cooperation and communication. The strategy focuses on six major technical areas and is implemented through and endorsed by the Africa Coronavirus Task Force (AFCOR). As of 15 March 2020, over 26 countries have reported more than 250 cases.
In Africa, the primary strategy for COVID-19, therefore, is based on limiting transmission and minimising harm. Delaying and diminishing the peak of outbreaks can help health systems better manage the surge of patients and communities better adapt to the disruption of social, cultural, and economic activities.
In order to compliment WHO's efforts to respond to COVID-19, Africa CDC is uniquely positioned to support member states through its presence within the African Union, the highest political body in Africa, and its five Regional Collaborating Centers. The primary challenge now is executing these tactics in a continent that is large, diverse, and at high risk of social and economic disruption from a pandemic.