Photo courtesy of CPHIA – Africa CDC
Scientists, policymakers and science journalists gathered in Lusaka, Zambia, this November in order to discuss how to bring vaccine manufacturing to the continent.
The third Conference for Public Health in Africa – organised by the continent’s health agency Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) – sought to push forward proposals for Africa to manage health outbreaks through home-grown vaccine manufacturing and effective health coordination across the continent.
Over 5,000 delegates attended the event, including WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema, and the Prime Minister of Namibia Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
The theme of the conference was Breaking Barriers: Repositioning Africa In The Global Health Architecture.
“Breaking barriers requires us to think beyond the confines of traditional healthcare models,” Jean Kaseya, Director-General of Africa CDC, said at the start of the conference.
“It beckons us to harness technology’s power, embrace equity and social justice principles, and foster robust collaborations that span borders and disciplines.”
Over 150 journalists attended from across the continent and beyond, with around a third coming as part of a conference fellowship programme.
Ogechi Ekeanyanwu, English-language Africa editor at SciDev.Net, a media partner at the conference, said: “The third CPHIA conference underscored the urgency for Africa to embrace data-driven strategies and foster a coordinated front against public health emergencies.
“As a journalist, I’m determined to hold the Africa CDC and WHO African Region accountable to their commitments to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all Africans.”
Next year the conference will be held in Rabat, Morocco.