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Africa CDC Launches Web-based Tool to Better Administer Public Health Emergencies

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Addis Ababa, September 2/2020(ENA) The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) launched a new web-based tool on Tuesday to facilitate rapid deployment and better administration of a standby workforce for public health emergencies across the continent.

Africa CDC launched the tool dubbed ‘AVoHC Net’, in partnership with the International Health Regulations (IHR) Strengthening Project of Public Health England (PHE).

AVoHC Net will particularly facilitate easy and rapid access to updated profiles of members of the African Volunteer Health Corps (AVoHC); exchange of relevant information with partners for public health emergency deployments.

It also involves training of experts on disaster preparedness, management and response; and access to country-specific health profiles for risk mapping and vulnerability assessment.

Director of the Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong said that the center is deploying community healthcare workers in different countries to help fight COVID-19 pandemic, but this has to be done in a more rapid and coordinated manner.

“With AVoHC Net, Africa CDC will be in a better position to provide targeted workforce development support for public health emergencies as an integral part of the health systems strengthening agenda for Africa,” the director pointed out.

PHE team leader, Dr Ebere Okereke stated that Africa CDC will be able to quickly deploy urgently needed personnel to any part of the continent with minimum delay with the help of the new tool.

Following the Ebola virus disease outbreak in parts of West Africa in 2014, the African Union Heads of State and Government authorized the creation of AVoHC as a multidisciplinary standby workforce to support response to public health emergencies in any part of Africa in 2015.

Since its creation, membership of AVoHC has grown to over 800 experts in epidemiology, laboratory, logistics, communication, social science, environmental health, animal health, and incident management.

Some of these experts were deployed by the African Union to support response to Ebola outbreak in West Africa.