Accra, July 21, GNA - African Heads of States and Governments, have endorsed the establishment of the African Public Health Emergency Fund, introduced to the 19th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, President of the Gambia moved the motion for the heads of states to adopt and endorsed the Fund.
In an address President Jammeh reminded the summit that public health emergencies remained a major concern for Africa, as they continued to shackle the continent's development.
A release copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday from the WHO Africa Regional Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said President Jammeh pointed out a number of countries do not have the requisite human, financial and material resources to deal effectively and efficiently with public health emergencies.
He said these countries often had to shift their attention beyond their boundaries for external assistance that sometimes arrive when much damage had already been done.
“It is in this regard that it is strongly justifiable to create a common fund that will considerably enhance preparedness for dealing with emergencies and their attendant unpleasant consequences.
“The resources of this common fund will aid countries to deal with epidemics and pandemics and thereby save lives and reduce poverty,” he said.
Dr Luis Sambo, WHO Regional Director proposed the establishment of the fund with the purpose of mobilising, managing and disbursing additional resources from member states to respond rapidly and effectively to public health emergencies of national and international concern.
The establishment of the fund was subsequently approved by the 60th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa held in 2010 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.