Africa health conference begins today

Dec 14, 2021

CPHIA 2021 is hosted by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the African Union (AU). 

Three presidents including Paul Kagame (Pictured) of Rwanda are expected to give keynote addresses today afternoon.

Hilary Bainemigisha
Editor @New Vision


The inaugural Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA), is opening today Tuesday, December 14 in the afternoon. 

The three-day conference, dubbed CPHIA 2021, will bring together African scientists, planners, implementers, researchers, policymakers and stakeholders to discuss the future of public health on the continent.

Organisers say it will be the first-ever and unique platform for participants to collaborate on research, innovation, and public health across the continent. 

CPHIA 2021 is hosted by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the African Union (AU). 

According to the conference organisers, the virtual conference is aimed at addressing long-standing health emergencies in the context of Covid 19 challenges.

Africa is plagued by such health challenges as Covid 19, HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and the emerging non-communicable diseases.

Three presidents are expected to give keynote addresses today afternoon. 

They include Presidents of DR Congo, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, who is also Chairperson of the African Union; Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Cyril Ramaphosa, of South Africa.

Other speakers include Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson, Commission of the AU, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO, Prof. Agnes Binagwaho, Co-Chair, CPHIA 2021 and Vice Chancellor and Professor of Pediatrics, University of Global Health Equity

Others are Prof. Senait Fisseha, Co-Chair, CPHIA 2021 and Director of Global Programs, The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC.

After 4.00 PM, the conference will discuss the Epidemiology of COVID 19, its virology, prevention and clinical management. Africa was predicted to be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

But Africans appear to have thus far evaded widespread Covid deaths and sicknesses. 

Experts will assess how the pandemic has unfolded on the African continent and possible biologic mechanisms that may have mitigated the impact of the disease. 

They will also identify areas of particular need for future research in the African setting and discuss the future of COVID-19 in Africa.

Speakers will include Dr. John Nkengasong, the director of Africa CDC and Professors Penny Moore, South African Research Chair of Virus-Host Dynamics, Salim Abdool Karim, Director, Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research In South Africa and Ibrahim Abubakar, of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, University College, London.

Others are Dr. Trevor Crowell, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine and Dr. Magda Robalo Correia e Silva, High Commissioner for COVID-19 pandemic response in Guinea-Bissau.

Tomorrow, the conference will deal with vaccination research capacity, advocacy, manufacturing and distribution in Africa.

Organisers hope that CPHIA 2021will grow into the preeminent annual public health gathering in Africa. 

Dr Amit Thakker, a member of the CPHIA 2021 organizing committee, told New Vision earlier that the conference will outline the structure and strategy in the partnership that will make health systems more integrated and strong enough to handle future health emergencies. 

“It will map out strategies to avert future pandemics and handle emergencies. It has very well designed tracks that cover important milestones we need to achieve in making this continent healthier and stronger than before,” Thakker said in an earlier interview. 

According to Thakker, Uganda government institutions, academicians, faith-based organizations; private sector firms and researchers, are deeply involved. 


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