Health

COVID-19 exposed gaps in global health systems, Says Rwandan PM

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr Édouard Ngirente has said the COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in the global health systems including inadequate preparedness, access to vaccines and technologies as well as inefficient and poorly trained personnel.

Ngitrente said this at the second Annual International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2022), on Wednesday in Kigali, Rwanda.

The CPHIA 2022 aims to significantly advance efforts to strengthen research, innovation and emergency management in Africa.

The Rwandan Prime Minister stressed the need for the continent to prioritise and invest in national health programmes.

“Public health is about the capacities of countries to take appropriate actions to protect and care for the health of the citizens.

“As such, resilient public health practices must have systems able to detect and respond effectively to outbreaks,” Ngitrente added.

According to him, the CPHIA is a unique platform to discuss challenges and build a resilient healthcare system and leverage African potentials.

He said that there is a correlation between the health of the citizens and economic growth.

“To build a better future across Africa, we need resilient health systems, and it is high time that Africa leverages the existing opportunities to build them,” Ngitrente advised.

According to Prof Senait Fisseha, CPHIA 2022 Co-Chair, Africa has many life-saving lessons and guidance to share with the rest of the world.

Fisseha said that CPHIA2022 was no longer just a conference but a movement.

“CPHIA is a manifestation of the best of our continent and a movement to propel Africa’s new public health order.

“This is what it looks like when we come together with commitment to build the platforms and institutions that we wish existed,” she said.

Fisseha said that platforms like CPHIA2022 not only elevated the African New Public Health Order but added political value to the broader global health discourse.

Meanwhile, Dr Ahmed Ouma, acting Director, Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said it was time for a new public health order to achieve the health security agenda for Africa.

Ouma said that the CPHIA was a platform for African and international experts to provide solutions to public health threats and emergencies in Africa and globally.

“It is time for Africa to take ownership and responsibility in shaping our present and our future.

“It is crucial to create a space where ideas and insights are shared amongst the brightest African and international minds. CPHIA2022 is that space,” Ouma said.

According to him, Africa needs each everyone to contribute, adding “contributions from the young and old, men and women, the citizen and the visitor.

”We all have a role to play in continuing to safeguard Africa’s health. We must first believe in ourselves.”

The conference is now in its second edition and aims to build on conversations started at CPHIA 2021, helping to catalyse accelerating progress against the continent’s most significant health challenges and building more resilient health systems.

CPHIA 2022 was being hosted by Africa CDC in partnership with the Government of Rwanda.

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