The Ministers of Health from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have dismissed the proposal by the Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC) to declare cholera a public health emergency in the region. Sylvia Masebo, the Chairperson of the Africa CDC Governing Board and Zambia’s Minister of Health, revealed that the SADC Health Ministers believe that individual countries should independently decide whether to declare the cholera outbreak as a health emergency. The ongoing outbreak has affected nearly 15 member states in both SADC and Eastern Africa.
Chairing the Extraordinary Session of the Governing Board in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Masebo urged member states to develop proactive interventions to prevent future cholera occurrences. She commended Africa CDC for its progress in operationalizing the Lusaka call to action, emphasizing the need for clear Public Health Emergency Operation Centre roadmaps across African Union Member States.
Jean Kaseya, the Director General of Africa CDC, highlighted that the Governing Board Meeting would facilitate the preparation of documents for the upcoming Committee of Heads of States and Government of Africa CDC, scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the African Union Summit.
In recognition of its exceptional contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in Africa, Zambia has been awarded the service award.