Skip to 0 minutes and 18 secondsJOHN NKENGASONG: The African Task Force for Coronavirus Preparedness and Response is a continental approach that has been endorsed by the ministers of Africa when they met here on February 22nd and urge African CDC, the WHO, and other partners, to develop a continent-wide approach. The task force has six different technical working areas, including laboratory and subtyping, surveillance and enhanced port of entry screening, infection control and prevention, clinical management, commodities, and risk communication. That's how the continent has organised itself to be able to prepare to respond to the coronavirus epidemic.

Skip to 1 minute and 19 secondsJOHN NKENGASONG: The working groups are co-led by member states, the African CDC, and the WHO. So the working groups decides or discuss priority areas to focus on. For example, the laboratory working group has organised trainings in Dakar, South Africa, and other places to very quickly ramp up diagnostics from just two countries-- South Africa and Senegal, that were able to conduct appropriate testing in the beginning of February-- to now 43 countries in just four weeks. That's a good example of what that technical working group can do. Other working groups have actually contributed as well. Like the technical working group on infection control and prevention have organised a competency based training of trainers in Nigeria.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 secondsThe recent communication working groups have organised similar working group activities in Tunisia. The care and treatment group have trained now more than 1,200 community of practise by a network approach. So that's how the working groups are actually supporting the continent to prepare member states for the imminent spread of the coronavirus.

Skip to 2 minutes and 53 secondsJOHN NKENGASONG: What we need to go forward is to increase our ability to cascade the trainings that have been developed into each member states at various levels-- that is, at both the national and subnational level. We also need to expand the testing. Our strategy for Africa is to build around early detection and containment. Then we should expand testing as much as possible so that we identify cases early on and isolate them and make sure that we help to provide the appropriate care that is required to manage these cases.

Responding in Africa

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, discusses preparations in Africa to support the response to COVID-19 (recorded 10th March 2020).

Intended learning outcomes

  • Give examples of international response activities
  • Examine measures planned / required

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COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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