The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) participated in the 2nd International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA) that was held in Kigali, Rwanda on 13-15 December 2022. The conference, which was organized by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and African Union in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda, brought together over 2,500 in-person participants plus additional participants online. Participants came from 90 countries all over the globe with 87% of all participants from Africa.
‘Africa has a wealth of knowledge to respond to its own needs. This conference is by Africans for everyone, a platform for Africans to solve challenges around the world and guide solutions to benefit global health security. Excellent science will always be the foundation of strong public health,’ said Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director, Africa CDC.
DNDi participated in and organized a number of sessions. This included hosting the only side event at the conference on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) titled NTDs in Africa: Why we must innovate and act now.
The panel emphasized the importance of innovative tools for disease surveillance and proper diagnosis, and the importance of government involvement in the treatment of NTDs. The place of the youth as drivers of innovation to tackle NTDs was highlighted as one of the key components in eliminating NTDs on the African continent.
‘Innovation in tackling NTDs needs to be at the forefront of all African health systems. There must be sustained commitment from governments, funding agencies, and the research community to address the needs of neglected patients. It’s time for Africa to take ownership and responsibility for the health of our citizens. We must own our story,’ said Dr Monique Wasunna, Eastern Africa Director.
Watch the recording:
DNDi also supported the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition side event and Pandemic Preparedness Platform for Health and Emerging infections’ Response (PANTHER) side event focusing on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID- 19 Clinical Research Coalition discussions focused on harnessing the strength of collaboration and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic focusing on low- and middle-income countries.
The PANTHER event launched this new platform that brings together leading African and global researchers and public health teams to help countries and communities better prepare before emerging infectious diseases become pandemics.
CPHIA was a unique opportunity for African researchers, policy makers, academia, civil society, and other stakeholders to discuss health solutions for the African continent by Africans.