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Africa CDC empowered to declare public health emergencies

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The Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention has been given authority to declare public health emergencies, which will help the agency to mobilise money and other resources early in any efforts to halt the spread of disease.

“At country level, the countries already have that authority, but if it goes beyond one country, Africa CDC now has the authority to step in, assess the situation and then make a declaration,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Africa CDC’s deputy director, said at a virtual briefing on Thursday.

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This will be done in close cooperation with affected states and other bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), he said.

Ogwell Ouma also said the continent has reported 2 031 suspected cases of monkeypox in 10 countries, with Nigeria adding 73 of these in the past week and Cameroon two. Of the total, only 250 cases have been confirmed by a laboratory.

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