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Africa CDC raises alarm over continent’s infectious diseases outbreaks : TV360 Nigeria


The Africa Centre for Disease Control, Africa CDC,  says the continent is faced with syndemics which is increasing the disease burden across Africa.

Africa CDC Director, John Nkengasong said this on Wednesday at the Nigerian Conference of Applied and Field Epidemiology (NiCAFE), in Abuja.

“The African continent as a whole face what we call syndemics; a combination of emerging infectious diseases. We are dealing with this pandemic, but there will be another pandemic,” Nkengasong said.

“Syndemics are exacerbating the disease burden across Africa. Emerging diseases, non-communicable disease, injuries,  maternal and neonatal conditions; and endemic diseases, HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria”.

Speaking on the role of regional health institutions in the prevention, detection and response to infectious diseases outbreaks, Mr Nkengasong disclosed that if the continent had been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020, there wouldn’t have been a single country with the reagents to test for the virus.

“A continent of 1.3 billion cannot be that exposed. All countries in Africa now have diagnostics capacity,” he added.

He explained that from the COVID-19 pandemic lessons learnt and response in the continent, coordination and collaboration is key for a whole of Africa approach, with a critical role for National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs) in pandemic preparedness and response.

He added that the development of continent specific guidelines and continental political leadership to guide the pandemic response were necessary.


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