What exactly is the AUDA-NEPAD COVID-19 Response Plan of Action?
The AUDA-NEPAD COVID-19 Response Plan of Action is a comprehensive, proactive and multidimensional plan that will help tackle both the current COVID-19 challenges and the post-pandemic repercussions. It is a direct response in improving access to sustainable and resilient health services, while ensuring the protection of Africa’s economic foundations.
Aiming to cover the ecosystem that would be affected by the crisis, the response plan will mainly focus on seven thematic areas: Health Service Delivery; Human Resources for Health; Research & Development Innovation and Local Manufacturing; Education and Training; Skills and Employability; Food and Nutrition Security; and Financing.
How long will the response plan last?
It is meant to last for as long as COVID-19 exists and then three years after the pandemic. The idea is to ensure that, as long as this crisis lasts, Africa has the means and tools to fight against it and, on the other hand, anticipate the big economic losses, as well as the lessons learned for a brighter African continent.
How do you plan to implement the response?
We have set up multidisciplinary teams covering four core dimensions: data collection and analysis innovation and transfer of knowledge; implementation and monitoring of impactful projects in the response to COVID-19; private sector engagement, and communication and advocacy.
We will need to work with our Member States and Regional Economic Communities for the implementation. Basically, we play the role of facilitator and a platform of transfer of expertise and technology from and to our Member States with the help of our traditional partners such as financial institutions, the private sector, and foundations.
For the immediate term, which areas will you focus on?
We are focusing on key thematic areas including health service delivery; capacity building for healthcare human resources; research, development, and innovation to enhance local manufacturing; education and training skills and employability; food and nutrition security; and financing.
Our Member States faced challenges in addressing the issues of shortage of vital sanitary and medical equipment, while increasing lockdowns in countries have worsened the situation. The high prevalence of endemic diseases such as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, etc. already overstretch an important number of health systems in Africa. So, together with our Member States, we need to focus on the containment of the pandemic with aggressive preventive measures. The ultimate objective is to facilitate the construction of reliable public health systems based on the principle of shared responsibility and collective solidarity.