Livingstone…Saturday, Sept 10,
HEALTH Minister SYLVIA MASEBO has called on the Southern Africa region member states to expeditiously operationalize public health emergency operations centres-PHEOCs for enhanced health security within the corridors in view of the emergent public health threats.
Ms MASEBO says operational centres are a crucial pillar of resilient public health systems that are properly aligned to the fulfilment of the 2005 obligations of international health regulations.
She has urged the 10- member states meeting in Livingstone to deliberate on practical approaches towards the actualization of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centres by the year 2026 in all regional hubs.
“Let us critically and openly discuss mechanisms for the implementation of the agreed upon actions of the high-level event on strengthening PHEOCs in Africa. Even as we do so, let us reflect on required local policies, strategies, and mechanisms that will enhance coordinated actions and timely information sharing in the implementation of the Call-to-Action,” She said.
The Minister further states that there is need to further strengthen regional collaboration, partnerships, and coordination in establishing PHEOCs in member states across the region.
“It is therefore, in our collective commitment to this cause, that we can actualize, not only the Call, but the broader obligations of building resilient public health systems against the growing diversity of public health hazards, particularly those of infectious origin,” She said.
She has reassured that Zambia will continue to play part in supporting the work of the operationalization of the call-to-action on PHEOCs.
And director for Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention – Africa CDC AHMED OUMA has expressed hope that the African regional hub is better positioned to actualize public health emergency operation centres.
Dr OUMA has since challenged the 10-member states to ensure speedy delivery of all commitments that will be made.
A two-day high level conference of parties follows the historic Lusaka Declaration by the Heads of States and Governments on strengthening public health emergency operations centres in Africa during the recently held High Level meeting on the sidelines of the 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union and the 4th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities.
The meeting has seen an overall participation from all member states drawn from across the regions as well as various other stakeholders, the World Health Organization-WHO, United Nations program on HIV/AIDS-UNAID, the United Kingdom Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention-UK CDC and a United States of America- CDC delegation.