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Africa’s Preparedness for the Next Pandemic

More than 1,000 health experts, including African Cabinet ministers, are in Botswana for the World Health Organization Africa region to discuss health challenges facing the continent. Delegates want the continent to be better prepared for the next pandemic — following Africa’s poor response to COVID-19. Speaking at the start of the five-day meeting Monday, Jean Kaseya, head of Africa’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said it is important for the continent to be pandemic ready, after being found wanting during COVID-19. “The next pandemic is coming,” Kaseya said. “This next pandemic we need to be prepared like other continents are preparing themselves. We need to see how Africa can be more independent by manufacturing their own vaccines. The second one is how we can provide funding for our pandemic preparedness, prevention and response.” The meeting is also expected to discuss ways to transform health care in Africa, including developing telemedicine strategies.