How COVID-19 is Impacting Africa:
A Conversation with the Directors of Africa CDC and WACI Health

On September 16, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, WACI Health and AVAC hosted a live conversation focused on COVID-19 in Africa and its impact on AIDS, TB and malaria programming; the role of African researchers in the development of COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines; and the role of global donors to support an African-led COVID-19 response.

Moderated by AVAC’s Maureen Luba, participants included: Chris Collins, President, Friends of the Global Fight; Mitchell Warren, Executive Director, AVAC; Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; Rosemary Mburu, Executive Director of WACI Health; Lwazi Mlaba, Global Fund Champion working in HIV, TB and GBV, and a COVID-19 survivor and founder of an African COVID-19 support group; and Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi, Principal Research Officer at KEMRI and Co-Director of the KEMRI-UCSF Infectious Disease Research Training Program.

Click here to be taken to a recording of the conversation and see below for key quotes.

Key quotes:

“We are also learning that we actually need global solidarity to win this. We know that global health security is only as strong as the world’s weakest health system.” – Rosemary Mburu, Executive Director, WACI Health (18:15)

 “We have to come out, as a continent, from this crisis, better than we went into the crisis.” – Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (20:10)

“What COVID-19 is teaching us early is that we are more vulnerable than we thought. We are more connected than we thought…if you strengthen national health security, regional health security, it feeds into global health security so that the whole discussion about global health security becomes a reality.” – Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control (21:56)

“We need global solidarity to address a global solution.” – Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention(36:36)

“One of the greatest acts of humanity that ever happened in global health was the creation of the Global Fund. The Global Fund was where human beings came together as a collection to solve problems that were affecting other human beings.” – Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (38:06)

“The Global Fund’s COVID-19 response mechanism has actually provided hundreds of millions of dollars to countries around the world to shore up health systems addressing COVID, address service disruptions in the AIDS, TB and malaria programs. Those systems will also be in place to get diagnostics out, a vaccine, eventually. That mechanism, the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism is running out of money this month.” – Chris Collins, President, Friends of the Global Fight (41:00)