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Strengthening partnerships to combat disease outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – Africa CDC

Strengthening partnerships to combat disease outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – Africa CDC

 


Kinshasa, February 10, 2024 – The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) conducted a high-level mission from 9 to 10 February 2024 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The mission aimed to support the government's health initiatives through enhanced partnerships and collaboration in the treatment of emerging and endemic diseases.

Recognizing the vital role of respectful and action-oriented partnerships outlined in the new public health order, the Africa CDC and the Ministry of Health convened high-level partners to rally support for the prevention and control of monkeypox and cholera in DRC. The meeting, held on February 10, 2024, in Kinshasa, focused on the current epidemiological situation of monkeypox and cholera, identified response challenges and mobilized partner support for government efforts.

HE Dr Jean Kaseya, Africa CDC Director-General, highlighted Africa CDC's support for cholera and monkeypox response efforts, including deployment of experts, training of local health workers for surveillance and an approach health, providing diagnostics and supporting genomic initiatives. However, knowing the growing trend and the risk of the disease spreading, the Director-General underlined the need for renewed engagement of all partners and increased response efforts to prevent further spread and control outbreaks.

Through this meeting, partners had the opportunity to review and approve action plans for response and further renewed their commitment to support the DRC Government in the fight against Mpox and cholera.

Dr Roger Kamba, DRC Minister of Health, acknowledged the key role of Africa's CDC, citing empirical evidence that DRC bears a significant burden of monkeypox cases in Africa. I am creating a task force to facilitate the coordination of all partners involved in the response effort, he said.

From January 2023 to January 31, 2024, Africa recorded 266,436 cases and 4,419 deaths from cholera, with DRC reporting over 16% of cases. During the same period, Africa reported 16,549 Mpox cases and 853 deaths, with DRC reporting 97.5% of cases.

More partnerships

In addition, in strengthening collaboration with local partners, CDC Africa and Soins de Sant Primaire en Milieu Rural (SANRU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation and collaboration between the two organizations. The signing ceremony marked a key moment in the advancement of healthcare initiatives in the DRC and beyond.

The Africa CDC and SANRU have identified several key areas for collaboration, including advocacy, development and capacity building of Primary Health Care (PHC) with paid Community Health Worker (CHW) programs, establishing Communication activities with Risk and Community Engagement (RCCE). facilitating the integration of community health worker programs into national health systems and partnerships to achieve gender equality and the autonomy of women and girls in accessing health services.

“The signing of this agreement establishes our joint commitment to accelerate the achievement of universal health coverage and increase health security in the DRC and Africa. By promoting community health programmes, supporting multi-sectoral interventions and building a critical mass of community health workers, we aim to address gender disparities in access to health, ultimately improving health outcomes for all, said HE Dr Jean Kaseya , Director General of Africa. CDC.

During the same mission, discussions on improving decision-making, policies and public health practices using locally generated evidence and in context with Prof. Jean Jacques Muyembe, Director General of the National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were held. Discussions focused on mechanisms for strengthening monkeypox research and clinical trials.

In addition, Africa CDC engaged with the National Public Health Institute (NPHI) to strengthen the partnership between CDC and Africa NPHI and to identify areas of support for DRC NPHI to fulfill its health promotion mission by coordinating public health functions and programs to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats, including infectious and non-infectious diseases and other health events.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) faces unique challenges due to its biodiversity, ecological complexity and socio-political landscape, making it vulnerable to public health crises such as cholera and monkeypox. Coordinated efforts and resources are essential to prevent and respond to such events effectively.

The recent epidemics of monkeypox and cholera, declared by the Minister of Public Health, Hygiene and Sanitation, have seen an alarming increase in cases across the country, even in non-endemic regions. The situation calls for extraordinary measures to contain the spread and minimize the social and economic impact.

Questions for the media:

Directorate of Communication and Public Information Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention| Email: [email protected]

About CDC Africa

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is an autonomous continental public health agency of the African Union that supports member states in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response and prevention and control of diseases. Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org

About SANRU SANRU (Soins de Sant Primaire en Milieu Rurale) is a non-governmental organization based on the Christian faith. SANRU ASBL has a long experience in public health in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This goes back to 1981, three years after the WHO launched the concept of “health for all and by all” at the ALMA ATA Conference. Indeed, SANRU was one of the first organizations to implement the project to create and revitalize Health Zones in the DRC for more than three decades. Learn more: https://www.sanru.cd/

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