Health officials in Africa have said this week that they are partnering with the US to develop a continent-wide Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, NPR's Goats and Soda blog reports.
The US CDC was created following a malaria outbreak in the southern US in 1946, and China's version of the agency became operational around the 2002 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The African CDC comes now as the Ebola epidemic winds down, NPR notes.
Such an agency had been in development, though the outbreak sped the process up. It is to open in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, later this year, with five regional locations coming along later. The agency will monitor public health, respond to public health emergencies as well as address complex health challenges and build capacity, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the chair of the African Union Commission, says in a statement.
Thomas Kenyon, the director of the US CDC's Center for Global Health, tells NPR that the African CDC will "take advantage of existing structures to make it additive to what's already there."
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Dlamini Zuma signed a memo of cooperation Monday on the collaboration between the US CDC and the African Union Commission, Reuters adds.