The Africa Center for Disease Control has expressed its keenness to continue working closely with the Pan African Parliament to ensure that African Union policies and decisions on health emergencies are formulated, advocated and implemented.
Speaking at the ongoing capacitation programme for PAP legislators in Midrand, South Africa, Dr Lul Riek, Regional Coordinator for Africa CDC, said the synergies for cooperation have come at an opportune time as the African continent is working towards moving into the post-Covid 19 era.
“There is no substitution for working in partnerships, coordination and provision of effective leadership. Africa responded well to Covid 19 because it has chosen to work together instead of working against itself. In fact, Africa is the only continent that effected a joint continental strategy for Covid 19 outbreak,” said Dr Riek.
To date, Africa has more than 12 million confirmed Covid 19 cases and around 254 000 deaths. The AU targets to have around 900 million Africans vaccinated. The AU interventions included coming up with a Covid 19 Response Fund and a Consortium for Covid 19 Clinical Vaccine Trials.
PAP will provide the necessary support, leadership and advocacy in supporting the efforts of AU Member States in the Covid 19 fight and will ensure that no single country is left behind. The PAP is also committed to creating an enabling environment for championing the full implementation of the New Public Health order towards self-reliance through various platforms, voices, leaderships, legislations, and engagement of national and regional parliaments. The New Public Health order seeks to have a strengthened public health workforce, increased domestic health financing, strengthened public health institutions, and expanded local medicine manufacturing.
Hon Felix Okot Ogong from Uganda commended actions undertaken so far and urged Africa to come up with its own narrative:
“Africa is capable of writing its own story and we need to propose solutions in line with lessons learnt in Africa.”
In his closing remarks Dr Riek said:
“Indeed this is an important engagement, a historical milestone, and timely for the Pan African Parliament to do what is right for the next generations. The time is now and the choice is yours,” said Dr Riek.