The Council of Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Monday convened virtually to discuss measures to prevent and control cholera which some Member States have experienced since the onset of the rainy season.
The Council of Ministers received a report of the meeting of the SADC Ministers of Health held on 27 January 2024 on the cholera situation in some Member States, the preparedness of and response to cholera outbreaks in the region.
Ambassador Tete Antonio, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Angola and Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers, emphasised the necessity of consolidating regional efforts in combating cholera and other climate-related diseases.
Antonio spoke about the need for the region to collectively take comprehensive and coordinated action “guided by the expertise of health professionals and cooperating partners” such as the Africa CDC, World Health Organization, UNICEF, and World Food Programme.
“In light of this situation, it is imperative that we respond to this challenge as a united region since no single country can combat a disease like cholera which transcends borders,” the Minister stated.
He commended the SADC region for demonstrating resilience in addressing various health challenges, notably HIV and AIDS, as well as COVID-19. Moreover, he credited the region with a commendable track record in implementing effective measures to prevent and mitigate the impact of these health pandemics.
“Through our united front, we will be able to control the spread of cholera and any other diseases or pandemics that may come our way,” he declared.
Elias Magosi, the Executive Secretary of SADC, underscored the importance of addressing the underlying factors driving the cholera outbreak at national level. He applauded SADC Member States for taking measures to contain the cholera situation by leveraging multi-country bilateral cooperation to manage cases across borders.
He also expressed gratitude to cooperating partners such as the Africa CDC, WHO, UNICEF Welfare Programme, and others who have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to supporting the region’s efforts in eliminating cholera.
“Your support and expertise during the Ministers of Health meeting has been invaluable, and we will continue to benefit from your experience and knowledge in the field of public health as we strive to foster healthier and more productive communities that contribute to the development of our region,” Magosi remarked.