African CDC to Open in 2015


 CDC Helps African Union Launch African CDC

The American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the African Union Commission are collaborating to form the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a press release.

The memorandum of cooperation, signed by Secretary of State John Kerry and African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Nkosanzana Dlamini Zuma, makes formal the relationship between the United States CDC and AUC, and mandates the establishment of an African CDC.

The U.S. CDC will provide technical expertise for the African CDC Surveillance and Response Unit, as well as advise African CDC leadership in strategic planning for future development.

The African CDC will establish an African Surveillance and Response Unit, which includes an Emergency Operations Center. The agency’s coordinating center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will work with five regional collaborating centers throughout the African Union. Among the center’s staff members will be 10 African field epidemiologists supported by fellowships from the CDC who will conduct disease surveillance, investigations and analyses to report trends or anomalies, according to the release.

The new agency is expected to fully launch later this year, according to the release. The African CDC will pursue additional support from other public health organizations in Africa for technical and strategic assistance.

“The West African Ebola epidemic reaffirmed the need for a public health institute to support African ministries of health and other health agencies in their efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to any disease outbreak,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

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