Kenya has been selected to host the Eastern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre of the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) after a successful capacity assessment conducted by 15 experts drawn from the African Union (AU), the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC-US and CDC-China.
Africa CDC intends to use the Centre to monitor public health and responses to emergencies, address complex health challenges to build capacity in the region consisting of Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South-Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
The statement sent to the media by Health P.S Dr. Nicholas Muraguri said Kenya was awarded the hosting rights because of the strength of its disease surveillance systems and the role the country played in sending disease experts to Liberia and Sierra Leone following the Ebola outbreak.
‘The award is expected to strengthen the country’s health systems by enhancing disease surveillance capacity in terms of infrastructure and human resources, disease outbreak alert systems as well as lab capacity,’ read the statement in part.
Kenya will formally be endorsed by Heads of State during the forthcoming AU summit, alongside Egypt, Gabon, Nigeria and Zambia which, will also host other Regional Collaborating Centres.
‘The Regional Collaborating Centres, enable the Africa CDC to establish early warning and response surveillance platforms, support public health emergency preparedness and response. It will also assist the Member States to address gaps in international health regulations, support country-level hazard mapping, harmonise disease control and support member states in capacity building,’ further read the statement.
The chair of the Africa CDC will be based at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.