Africa CDC commits to transforming Africa’s healthcare landscape

By Dr. Jean Kaseya

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) celebrates the milestone of achieving seven years of service for Africa this year. I want to use this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to transforming Africa’s healthcare landscape. 

In 2017, we embarked on a transformative journey, with a modest team of 11 experts committed to revolutionising healthcare across Africa. Today, our dedicated team of 264 professionals spans the continent, serving all 55 African Union members with a singular mission: placing health equity for all at the forefront.

Over these years, our healthcare warriors have valiantly combated 160 public health events, including over 100 disease outbreaks annually. The COVID-19 pandemic tested our mettle, yet it was our strategic, unified response that facilitated the administration of over 2.5 million vaccine doses, a testament to our commitment to health equity.

Our journey has not been without challenges. The rising tide of non-communicable diseases, alongside infectious diseases, threatens our progress. These health burdens, exacerbated by socio-economic disparities, famine, war, and climate change, underscore the need for a robust, united front in healthcare.

Local capacity building remains our cornerstone. In East Africa alone, we deployed 425 healthcare experts, significantly strengthening grassroots healthcare. Our efforts are more than a response mechanism; they’re a proactive move towards a healthier future for Africa, underpinned by our vision of the 5Cs: Community, Connectivity, Capacity, Collaboration, and Climate.

We envision a future where health security is not a privilege but a right for every African. This vision hinges on the unwavering support of our healthcare professionals, who remain the backbone of our success. We applaud their exceptional efforts to build a healthier, more resilient Africa.

As we forge ahead, our focus is clear: to strengthen our healthcare systems against the triple threat of infectious diseases, NCDs, and malnutrition, and to ensure that every African has access to quality healthcare. This ambitious task demands more than just our efforts; it requires a continent-wide awakening to the importance of health and well-being.

Dr. Jean Kaseya is Director General, Africa CDC

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