98a9c20f-7e76-4b59-b264-97cf2f2e842cAddis Ababa, 22 February 2020 – As the threat of coronavirus disease looms over the continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) promised to support African Union Member States on a common preparedness and response strategy. WHO joined Health Ministers in an Emergency Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, which was convened on 22 February by the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa joined H.E. Amira Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission in welcoming the ministers. WHO has conducted a survey with countries to assess their overall readiness for COVID-19 and found the regional readiness level was an estimated 66%.

“WHO finds there are critical gaps in readiness for countries across the continent,” said Dr Moeti. “We need urgently to prioritize strengthening the capacities for countries to investigate alerts, treat patients in isolation facilities and improve infection, prevention and control in health facilities and in communities.”

The African Ministers of Health discussed a joint communique on how to prepare for and potentially respond to COVID-19 and expect to conclude their discussions in a few days…..more