The African Union (AU) Centre
for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) says it has actively been
engaged in supporting AU member states in the preparedness and response
activities against COVID-19 outbreak.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday at AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the Africa CDC Director, John Nkengasong, said the centre has strengthened its internal capacity to support COVID-19 outbreak preparedness and response efforts by African countries.
The Center has trained personnel for the response activities against the outbreak.
“The countries that
have been affected include, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco,
Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, and Tunisia,” Nkengasong said.
Africa CDC has distributed testing kits capable of testing over 10,000 tests, and it is purchasing more emergency medical items, including thermal scanners and other critical medical supplies and stockpiling them to meet requests from AU member states.
“We are shifting slowly from preparedness to response. The Africa Taskforce for Coronavirus Preparedness and Response (AFTCOR) is currently active and supporting response by member states.
countries now have the capacity to test for the virus and we have supplied them
with test kits together with the World Health Organization,” he said.
The AU has recently held a ministerial meeting on preparedness and response to COVID-19, and guidance document has been developed and published for assessment, monitoring, and movement restrictions for people at risk for COVID-19.
“Hundreds of representatives of African member states have been trained in enhanced surveillance, infection prevention and control, risk communication and case management.
“Africa CDC, now we are in the response phase, has deployed six experts to support response in two of the affected member states, i.e. Nigeria and Cameroon. Africa CDC continues to engage with member states through the daily emergency operation center (EOC) and the weekly conference calls to share experience and provide support where needed,” the Director has said.
The Africa CDC has continued its prevention activities disseminating information and lessons that help prevent the disease. -Xinhua