First International Conference on Public Health in Africa Closes With Urgent Call for a New Public Health Order

Africa

First International Conference on Public Health in Africa Closes With Urgent Call for a New Public Health Order
Press Release
16 December 2021 | Addis Ababa – The first international Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2021), hosted by the African Union (AU) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) concluded its main programme today following three days of sessions focused on the need to address long-standing health challenges on the continent, including vaccine inequity and weak health systems. Over 140 African policymakers, scientists, public health experts, data experts, and civil society representatives presented the latest learnings and research from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the actions needed to better guard against current and future health crises…

”The AU’s New Public Health Order calls for continental collaboration to bolster African manufacturing capacity for vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics; strengthen public health institutions for people-centred care; expand the public health workforce; establish respectful, action-oriented partnerships; and engage with the private sector. These pillars are part of the continent’s approach to meeting the aspirations of the Agenda 2063 – the Africa We Want.

“There is a need for renewed commitments by governments and national parliaments to increase domestic financing for health in Africa. This has been a priority of the African Union for several years, but progress has not been fast enough. We cannot continue to rely on external funding for something so important to our future,” said H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and AU Champion for Domestic Health Financing. “We need to invest much more in national health systems. The ability to implement critical health programmes, including regular mass vaccination campaigns depends on the quality of national health services and the trust the public have in them.”…

 

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Communique on Progress Made on Vaccine Manufacturing in Africa – Kigali, Rwanda 06 07 December 2021
14 December 2021
On 6th-7th December 2021, the African Union, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the AUDA-NEPAD, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) convened a stakeholder’s meeting in Kigali, Rwanda to review progress made in manufacturing vaccines in Africa.

The objective of the meeting included:
a) an update on progress made so far on the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing in Africa (PAVM),
b) agreement on an AU-endorsed approach to facilitate regulatory approval of vaccines produced in Africa,
c) discuss critical market shaping needs once African countries produce vaccines, and
d) review progress on vaccine manufacture hubs and pilot a drug Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)-final drug product Hub program.

The meeting was attended, either by online or in person, by some African Union Heads of State (or their representatives), partners, stakeholders, and over 15,000 participants from Africa and the world…

[Excerpt from Communique]
…NOTED that after considering several options the regulators agreed on two potential pathways for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) of vaccines including those for the SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19:

1) Use and strengthen the Africa Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (AMRH), as a mechanism to provide EUA for COVID-19 vaccines produced in Africa pending the full operationalization of AMA.

2) Create a network of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) from countries with intent to produce vaccines and other NRAs with advanced maturity levels, using AMRH structure with close coordination by PAVM, and develop a step-wise process for strengthening them to facilitate the issuance of EUA.

3) Collaborate with the AfCFTA Secretariat to support manufacturing and Intra-Africa Trade for COVID-19 vaccines and pharmaceuticals products through appropriate Intellectual Property Framework.
PROPOSE the submission of the options proposed above to the AMA Conference of States Parties in January2022.