A nurse in Uganda sanitizing instruments (Photo: Esther Mbabazi/Amref Health Africa)
May 12, 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the need for countries to be prepared and ready to respond effectively to public health emergencies that will inevitably occur from time to time. As the world continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, even with the arrival of the vaccine, we are reminded of the need for effective and rapid responses to disease outbreaks and of the dire consequences when countries cannot do this.
To ensure that countries in Africa are prepared for any disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies, Amref Health Africa has partnered with Merck & Co., the African Union, Africa Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to create the Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEPR) Leadership Training Program for government and public health leaders across selected countries in Africa.
The program was launched on May 6, 2021 with a press briefing that included a panel discussion moderated by Amref Global CEO Dr. Githinji Gitahi with the theme of: Are Africa’s health systems prepared for emergencies? What have we learnt? What must we do?
The PHEPR Leadership Training Program will nurture leadership that can safely manage the rising number of public health emergencies on the African continent, through a collaborative approach. It is aimed at preparing leaders to create response strategies to public health challenges that result from natural disasters or disease outbreaks in Africa.
The PHEPR Leadership Training Program will:
- Give African decision-makers access to training and resources to implement strong PHEPR policies;
- Equip key stakeholders across Africa with knowledge and tools to strengthen health systems to cope with outbreaks; and
- Facilitate improved co-ordination, communication, alignment, and response across key stakeholders.