AfricaCDC, CEPI collaborate to strengthen diseases prevention, preparedness, response

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

The MoU, signed on Tuesday, is to expand their partnership to strengthen epidemic and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response in Africa.

United by a shared mission, the organisations will collaborate to boost regional vaccine research, development, and sustainable manufacturing leadership and capabilities in Africa.

This will foster a faster and more equitable response to emerging infectious diseases.

Dr Jean Kaseya, Africa CDC’s Director General, said: ‘The New Public Health Order calls to action to build resilient health systems capable of managing recurrent, high-impact infectious disease and outbreaks; an action-oriented partnership such as this is at the core.

‘This collaboration with CEPI in research, clinical trials, and local manufacturing of med
ical countermeasures will elevate Africa’s readiness against outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics.

‘This will consolidate the continent’s preparedness far beyond where we were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.’

Speaking, Richard Hatchett, CEPI’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘African leadership and capabilities will be key for ensuring the continent can respond to increasingly frequent infectious disease outbreaks.

‘The preparatory work to manage these outbreaks, from greater vaccine manufacturing capacity to clinical trial readiness, must be undertaken now.

‘CEPI stands ready to support Africa CDC in the realisation of these goals and to further strengthen Africa’s preparedness and resilience against future outbreaks.’

The partnership is in line with the African Union’s (AU) ambition to produce 60 per cent of the continent’s vaccine needs in Africa by 2040 under the Africa CDC’s Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM).

As such, the expanded partnership will ultimately focus its efforts on e
nhancing research and development, building a workforce as well as supply chain optimisation to support resilient health systems.

This ambition will increase vaccine sovereignty and reduce external reliance, helping prevent a recurrence of the vaccine inequity seen during the COVID-19 response in Africa.

To boost vaccine accessibility and efficiency and meet this goal, there is also a need to invest in vaccine RandD and manufacturing innovations, amongst others, and build a resilient regional supply chain.

To that end, Africa CDC and CEPI will coordinate to fund innovations accelerating speed, scale, or accessibility for initial implementation with African manufacturers.

This investment will support sustainable manufacturing for routine vaccinations in Africa, and-in the event of an outbreak-these facilities can be mobilized to produce response vaccines promptly.

In alignment with Africa CDC, the partnership also aims to bolster Africa’s research ecosystem and clinical trial infrastructure, including tar
geted capacity strengthening through CEPI’s Research Preparedness Programme- which, directed by regional experts, aims to build capacity for conducting high-quality Phase 3 efficacy trials.

The organisations will also collaborate to enhance vaccine safety protocols, biosecurity, pathogen surveillance, investment in capacity building, and other areas that help ensure overall African readiness for emergency vaccine responses.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria