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The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is a public health agency of the African Union to support the public health initiatives of member states and strengthen the capacity of their health institutions to deal with disease threats. It was established in January 2016 and officially launched in January 2017.
The Africa CDC was established in January 2016 by the 26th Ordinary Assembly of Heads of State and Government to improve coordination among health institutions among African Union member states in dealing with disease threats. African Union member states had first considered the idea of establishing a continent wide public health agency in 2013. In July 2015, the African Union Ministers of Health meeting in Malabo had adopted the Statute of the Africa CDC, which called for fast-tracking the establishment of the institution. The agency was officially launched in January 2017.
The Africa CDC has played a role in responding to the global 2019–20 COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected Africa. In early April 2020, Director Dr John Nkengasong condemned remarks by two French scientists Professors Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht suggesting that a potential tuberculosis vaccine for the coronavirus be test in Africa as "disgusting and racist." Dr Mira has since apologized for his remarks.
On 2 May 2020, the Africa CDC confirmed had nearly 40,000 cases, nearly 1,700 deaths, and more than 13,000 recoveries, and that COVID-19 had occurred in 53 African countries. The Africa CDC has also worked with the Jack Ma Foundation to distribute COVID-19 testing kits throughout the continent. In 7 May, Dr Nkengasong disputed Tanzanian President John Magufuli's criticism that these tests were faulty and giving too many false positives.
The Africa CDC is based at the Africa CDC Coordinating Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which also contains the agency's Emergency Operations Centre. The agency is led by Director Dr John Nkengasong and Deputy Director Ahmed Ogwell Ouma. Besides its Executive Office and a Science and Programme Office, the agency also has several divisions dealing with "policy, health diplomacy, and communication," "management and administration," "surveillance and disease intelligence," "laboratory systems and networks," "emergency preparedness and response," and " public health institutes and research."
The Africa CDC also have regional collaboration centres in Egypt, Nigeria, Gabon, Zambia and Kenya; which cover Northern Africa, Western Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and Eastern Africa respectively. The Africa CDC also runs a specialised Pathogen Genomics Intelligence Institute and an Institute for Workforce Development.