AU urges establishment of Public Health Emergency Operations Centres



The African Union (AU) has called on all Member States to make a commitment to establish and strengthen functional Public Health Emergency Operations Centers (PHEOCs) to help the continent respond effectively and efficiently to public health emergencies.

The message came on the sidelines of 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU and the 4th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting (MYCM) of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECS), in Lusaka, Zambia.

The bloc noted the Heads of State and Government’s Declaration made in July 2017 on Accelerating Implementation of the International Health Regulations in Africa, which seeks to address the increasing public health events and recurrent epidemics on the continent and to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of diseases.

In its call to action, the AU through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern over the increasing number of public health events and recurrent epidemics including the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent.

The AU urged the establishment of national functional PHEOCs under Ministries of Health or National Public Health Institutes in all Member States by 2026.

The PHEOCs would be entrusted with legal mandates, equipped with the right infrastructure, human and financial resources so as to deliver on their mandates.

To help the continent realize this, the AU further called upon member states to purpose to inform AU policy organs of the progress made in implementing this Call.