AU, AfricaCDC honour Ghebreyesus with Public Health Award

Spread the love


By Vivian Ihechu

The African Union (AU) and Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (AfricaCDC) have honoured the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, with the CPHIA Lifetime Achievement in Public Health Award.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the award was given at the ongoing annual International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA), organised by the AU and AfricaCDC and hosted by the Government of Zambia.

The 2023 CPHIA is being hosted by the Government of Zambia and runs from Nov. 27 to Nov. 30, 2023.

The CPHIA provides a unique African-led platform for leaders across the continent to reflect on lessons learned in health and science, and align on a way forward for creating more resilient health systems.

At the presentation ceremony on the sideline of the CPHIA2023, Dr Jean Kaseya, Director-General, AfricaCDC, said working in the WHO, Ghebreyesus  exemplified transformative leadership.

According to him, Ghebreyesus directed the affairs of the organisation through complex global health challenges with resilience and foresight.

“His commitment to ensuring access to healthcare, promoting equity, and tackling emerging health threats has left an indelible impact on the lives of millions around the world,” he said.

Kaseya noted that the WHO boss was instrumental in the establishment of the Africa CDC alongside other laudable reforms and initiatives.

“His commitment to championing the International Health Regulations and the Pandemic Agreement, which constitute the international legal framework for enhancing pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, stands as a beacon of inspiration for all of us, a testament to the impact one individual can have on the health and well-being of humanity,” he said.

See also  Sanwo-Olu inaugurates Atlantis Hospital, restates commitment to public-private partnership

In his acceptance speech, Ghebreyesus thanked the AU and the African CDC for the great honour.

He recalled his involvement in the development of Agenda 2063, the blueprint of the Africa we want.

According to him, in support of that pillar, discussions about building continental institutions and instituting the AfricaCDC was birthed.

“Since then, a lot has been done. AfricaCDC, has grown from strength to strength.

“It has continued to support a healthier Africa through other initiatives, including the mRNA technology transfer hub in South Africa and other initiatives that we think will address the problems that we face.

“But even more important than investments in institutions is investments in human capital, especially in our young ones.

“This is one of the other priorities of Agenda 2063, the Africa we want.’’

He explained that the WHO places emphasises on the  fundamental human rights for all people and secondly, that the health of all people was fundamental to peace and security.

According to him, a healthy Africa is the foundation of the more prosperous, more secure, more equitable, and more peaceful Africa we all want.

“A healthy population is a productive, innovative and resilient population.

“And the best way to protect and promote the health of the population is to make sure all its people can access the health services they need, where and when they need them, without facing financial hardship.

“That’s why that major stop priority remains Universal Coverage, built on strong primary health care.’’

Ghebreyesus reminded Africans that the continent is the birthplace of humanity, hence the need for it to play a vital part in the future of humanity in the coming century and beyond.

See also  Only 1 African country ready for public health emergency responses – CDC

“Our continent is some of the richest resources on Earth. I don’t mean the resources buried underground I mean, the ones above the ground, I mean, the human capital and the human resources.

“Thank you so much again, for this great honour and I accept it with a mixture of pride and humility not only on my own behalf, but on behalf of all my colleagues at the WHO who work every day, sometimes in difficult and dangerous situations, to protect and promote the health of the world’s people.’’

As the Director-General of WHO, Ghebreyesus worked dedicatedly to accelerate progress against diseases that affected millions of people each year, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.

He also played an active and key role in the response to the Ebola virus epidemic, monkeypox outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic among others. (NAN)


Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

Leave a Comment

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
error: Content is protected !!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x