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The Alliance for Epidemic Preparedness and Response in West Africa (APRE) welcomes its Advisory Board for the 2024 inaugural Strategic Meeting

Dakar, 7th March – The Alliance for Epidemic Preparedness and Response in West Africa (APRE) convened its first meeting of the Advisory Board for the year 2024, marking a significant milestone in the organization’s commitment to enhancing regional readiness and response to potential public health crises.

Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and the Director-General of the African Risk Capacity Group, and current Chairman of the Alliance, expressed his warm welcome to all members of the newly formed Advisory Board:

“We are privileged to have assembled such a distinguished group of leaders who bring invaluable expertise and diverse perspectives to the table. The establishment of the Advisory Board underscores our unwavering dedication to fostering collaboration, innovation, and proactive measures in tackling epidemics in West Africa,” Mr. Diong stated.

Comprised of esteemed experts and leaders in public health, epidemiology, disaster management, and development financing, the newly formed Advisory Board met to deliberate on strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening West Africa’s resilience against emerging infectious diseases and other health threats, particularly through advocacy activities and mobilization of high-level funding from national and international health actors.

The current members of the Alliance Advisory Board include:

  1. Professor Awa Marie Coll Seck, President of the Association Galien Africa
  2. Professor Sir Tumani Corrah, Founder & President Africa Research Excellence Fund
  3. Dr. Michel Sidibé, African Union Special Envoy for the African Medicines Agency
  4. Dr Simon Antara, Director at the African Field Epidemiology Network
  5. Ms. Adda Faye, Chief Financial Officer, The Global Fund
  6. Dr. Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

During the meeting, the Advisory Board engaged in fruitful discussions on various topics, including:

  1. The 2024 Alliance Epidemic Response Strategy: Assessing current response frameworks and identifying opportunities for improvement to ensure swift and effective interventions during infectious disease outbreaks.
  2. Capacity Building: Exploring avenues for enhancing the capacity of local healthcare systems, laboratories, and public health institutions to prevent, detect,, and respond to emerging public health threats.
  3. Community Engagement and Communication: Emphasizing the importance of community involvement and transparent communication in building trust, dispelling misinformation, and promoting adherence to public health measures.
  4. Collaboration and Partnerships: Members of the board placed a strong emphasis on effective collaboration with other regional and multilateral organizations and ensuring the full involvement of local communities in all stages of preparedness and response measures. Additionally, the board highlighted the need to integrate a gender dimension into all aspects of the initiatives, recognizing the differential impact of epidemics on individuals based on sex and gender. 

The meeting also covered various miscellaneous topics, including strategies to enhance visibility and plans for expansion and growth in its efforts to enhance epidemic preparedness and response across Africa.

“Starting small and learning from our mistakes, exposing our weaknesses, finding solutions to our challenges would be good.  So starting off with West Africa is a good idea and then we can gradually spread our wings as we learn and know how to grow. emphasized Professor Sir Tumani Corrah.

The Advisory Board members emphasized the importance of effective communication for the Alliance’s future.

The Alliance needs to communicate in the broadest sense possible and avoid fake news concerning epidemic preparedness and response” reiterated Professor Awa Marie Coll Seck, President of the Association Galien Africa.

The Alliance for Epidemic Preparedness and Response in West Africa (APRE) is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) through AfriCatalyst, the Alliance leverages the expertise of ARC, WAHO, and IPD to mitigate the negative impact of acute health emergencies. It focuses on building sustainable capacities, leveraging state-of-the-art technologies, and accessing innovative finance mechanisms.

About the Members:

The African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group is composed of ARC Agency, a specialized agency of the African Union founded in 2012, and the ARC Limited (ARC Ltd), a hybrid mutual insurer and the commercial affiliate of the Group founded in 2014. It assists African governments improve their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to natural disasters triggered by extreme weather events, as well as outbreaks and epidemics. https://www.arc.int

Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) is a Senegalese not-for-profit foundation working to advance equitable access to health in Africa, especially in Senegal. We do this by providing communities with Healthcare Solutions and Laboratory services, engaging in cutting-edge Biomedical Research and Innovation, manufacturing Vaccines and Diagnostics essential to African populations, developing Human Capital, and engaging in Public Health activities such as epidemic intelligence, outbreak response, and surveillance. IPD is one of the four WHO prequalified manufacturers to supply yellow fever vaccines to UN Agencies. www.institutPasteurDakar.sn & follow IPD via @PasteurDakar

The West African Health Organization (WAHO) is the regional agency charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the health of the peoples in the ECOWAS region through the initiation and harmonization of the policies of Member States, pooling of resources, and cooperation with one another and with others for a collective and strategic combat against the health problems of the sub-region. https://www.wahooas.org/web-ooas/en/who-we-are

For inquiries, please contact:

Bineta Pouye

Operations Manager at AfriCatalyst

Email: bpouye@africatalyst.com

Dakar, Senegal

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