Yesterday marked the commencement of the Third International Conference on Public Health in Africa 2023, inaugurated at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka. Themed ‘Breaking Barriers: Repositioning Africa in the Global Health Architecture,’ the conference provided a vital platform for African leaders to collectively address common health challenges, with a focus on pandemic preparedness for the continent.
President Hakainde Hichilema, in attendance at the opening ceremony, emphasized the critical need for a continental approach to public health, particularly in disease control, prevention, and detection. The interconnected nature of the modern world underscores the absence of territorial boundaries in health, as underscored by the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Encouraging collaborative efforts, President Hichilema highlighted the importance of fostering equity and fairness in health outcomes, especially in the realms of research and development, diagnostics, and vaccines. The President noted Africa’s progress in producing Covid-19 vaccines, reinforcing the significance of continental disease preparedness for collective health security.
Delegates and stakeholders from across Africa and even as far as the Caribbean Islands attended the conference, a testament to the global collaboration required to address pressing health issues collectively. President Hichilema warmly welcomed the international participants to Zambia.
On the sidelines of the conference, President Hichilema engaged in bilateral talks with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). The discussions covered key topics ranging from access to safe water and sanitation to support for local manufacturing of medicines and vaccines in Zambia.
President Hichilema also took a moment to celebrate Dr. Tedros for being awarded the Africa CDC Lifetime Achievement in Public Health. Describing him as a true champion of global health, President Hichilema extended his congratulations to Dr. Tedros for his significant contributions.
The Third International Conference on Public Health in Africa 2023 aims to be a catalyst for collaborative efforts, paving the way for comprehensive and sustainable solutions to global health challenges.