By STANSLOUS NGOSA
Zambia will play host to Regional Ministerial Consultative Committee under the auspices of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Southern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre (SA-RCC).
The two day meeting starting tomorrow, Wednesday, is expected to operationalize the Southern Africa RCC Mechanisms.
Ten health ministers, senior government officials and public health experts will attend the meeting.
The meeting will seek to address the modality of work for the regional ministerial consultative committee and introduce the framework of the Regional Integrated Surveillance and Laboratory Network in the Southern Africa Region.
The conference will also discuss issues related to strengthening collaboration, cooperation, and partnerships among Member States in the context of Health Security.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is a specialized technical agency of the African Union aimed at supporting African Union Member states in their efforts to effectively respond to public health emergencies.
This is through capacity building of public health professionals and technical assistance to countries to address complex health challenges.
To fulfill its mandate, Africa CDC has recognized a strong need for partnerships to timeously, effectively, and efficiently deploy public health assets across Africa.
Strengthened collaboration among Africa’s laboratory systems is a prerequisite for building a resilient continental health security architecture.
SA-RCC is mandated to support the execution of Africa CDC’s strategic plan in the region, and support Member States based on need.
The RCCs are created to facilitate the capacity building of the regional Member States, collaborate on public health issues between African Union Member States in a given geographical region and support regional engagement between the Member States on emergency preparedness and response, surveillance and laboratory integration, antimicrobial resistance, and other public health issues that are addressed more effectively through a coordinated strategy.
Pursuant to the approval of the Statute of the Africa CDC by the African Union Assembly in January 2016, the Africa CDC Southern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre (SA-RCC) convened its inaugural meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee from 30th to 31st October 2018 which took place in the Republic of Zambia.
Likewise, the official launch of the SA-RCC took place on 31st March 2021 and brought together senior Ministry of Health staff and the Directors of National Public Health Institutions in the region.
In their deliberation, the Member States took stock of the progress made, and the constraints encountered in the implementation of health security.
The Member States in attendance discussed the thematic areas on the meeting agenda and charted a way forward on possible approaches and actions that will be implemented over the next one year.
One of the agreed action points was a request for the SA-RCC in collaboration with the Government of Zambia to organize a Regional Ministerial Consultative Committee from the Ministers of Health and health partners in the region.