Sadc will today hold a virtual extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government to discuss the cholera outbreak in the region.
In a statement, the Sadc Secretariat said the extraordinary summit will receive and consider the report regarding the cholera outbreak in several member states, their state of preparedness and responses to the outbreaks.
The summit will be chaired by SADC Chairperson President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola
“The fight against cholera aligns with the African regional framework for the implementation of the global strategy for cholera prevention and control, 2018-2030. This framework supports the new global strategy for cholera control at the country level, providing a definitive pathway towards a world where cholera no longer poses a threat to public health,” Sadc said in the statement.
The Sadc Summit is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of functions of the organisation.
The extraordinary Sadc summit was preceded by the extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Sadc Ministers of Health with technical support from the World Health Organisation, the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) office for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and another extraordinary meeting of the Sadc Council of Ministers.
Since last year, five SADC countries have reported cholera outbreaks, accounting for 73 percent of all the cases recorded in Africa: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
In both preceding meetings, the Ministers assessed the cholera situation, identified possible measures for the region to comprehensively prevent and control the disease and urged Governments to adopt a collaborative approach in implementing measures to deal with the current outbreak.
Speaking after the meeting, acting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Professor Amon Murwira said the among other key issues, the Council of Ministers had agreed to enhance coordination across and within borders to effectively control and limit the spread of the disease.
“We also agreed to prioritise the mobilisation of resources for the deployment of a robust response to the outbreak, strengthen public health surveillance, improve the rate of detection and limit the spread of cholera and to coordinate activities in the country and within the region, as well as with partners to equip laboratories.
“The general consensus was that there is a need for a united and coordinated regional response to the cholera outbreak and commitment by the region’s leaders to prioritise citizens’ health, as a key driver underpinning human and economic development,” he said.