by: Tanyaa Mehta, Jennifer Tran, Abisha Yogaratnam, Tawhida Hassan Ali & Afshana Miah
Check out the project website here!
A Summary of “Africa CDC: A Solution for Africa by Africa” by Anastasia Kasirye
Narratives produced by international media outlets on Africa often emphasize on notions of its codependency and incompetence. As aptly put by the IDSC11 class, these narratives are not only extremely reductive and grossly inaccurate, but also serve to fuel the white savior narrative and further ongoing harmful discourses that African communities are helpless. Here the Africa CDC emerges as a glorious exemplification of the self-sufficiency and resilience of the continent, as a valorization of African perspectives. By drawing on local expertise, Africa CDC prioritizes the needs of Africans by using knowledge for Africans. Rather than waiting for external players to take action, Africa CDC has acted swiftly, quickly mobilizing task forces, securing equipment and materials and developing policies to address COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks. In doing so, Africa CDC enhances the agency of African players and empowers local communities to take action in the face of the pandemic. A global testament to the fact that what Africa is doing is working? COVID-19 DEATHS ON THE CONTINENT AS A WHOLE ARE LOWER THAN THE GLOBAL AVERAGE.
MULTILATERALISM IN AFRICA:
The continent has pursued a multilateral approach in handling COVID-19. The Africa Task Force for the Novel Coronavirus has supported a pan-African approach in compiling, analyzing and sharing information.
WHAT IS IT:
The Africa CDC is a specialized institution of the African Union that was officially established in 2017 in the wake of the Ebola Outbreak. It has two main institutes:
- PATHOGEN GENOMICS – works specifically on the development of bioinformatic.
- WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT – works to transform health force leadership in the Global South
CHALLENGES BEING EXPERIENCED BY THE AFRICA CDC DUE TO COVID-19:
- Finding solutions to protect households financially, while concurrently finding a solution that prevents them from contracting infection.
- Across the continent, countries have experienced drops in economic GDP
IDSC11 IDEAS FOR APPROACHING COMMUNITY SKEPTICISM:
- Give a broader platform to community voices
- Integrate ideas of community medicine with the clinical approaches of the Africa CDC
Steps Africa CDC has taken to boost the resilience of the continent against COVID:
- Collaborated with ministries of health and regional emergency centers to devise responses to COVID and integrated them into policies
- Created an online platform called the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (ASMP) to:
- Provide PPE and clinical management devices at fixed prices
- Coordinate COVID-19 vaccine preorders
- Devised a continental strategy with different health ministers to:
- Limit the number of deaths
- Limit socioeconomic harms and impacts of endemic diseases
- Limit transmission
- Created a COVID-19 task force that focused on training for healthcare and community workers to ensure efficient containment of COVID
- In an effort to increase testing, launched PACT (Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing) which made use of serosurveys (which helped to understand how infections spread and visualize how interventions will look if implemented and demographic characterizations).
- Developed a web based tool that:
- Allows for rapid deployment of health care resources to critical regions
- Enabled healthcare workers who are specifically trained for COVID emergencies into regions that needed them the most
- Developed a project to vaccinate millions of citizens (COVAX)
- Launched the ‘Trusted Travel’ my COVID Pass portal, a campaign that prevents the cross-border spread of the virus and has assisted in slowing the spread of COVID-19 on the continent