Neglected tropical diseases

African Union signs memorandum of understanding (MoU) with WHO – Press release

19 December 08 | Geneva

From left, Dr Jean Jannin, Coordinator, Innovative and Intensified Disease Management, Dr Lorenzo Savioli, Director, Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, Dr Hiroki Nakatani, Assistant Director-General HTM, and H.E. Mrs. Rhoda P. Tumusiime, Commissioner Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, December 19, 2008/African Press Organization (APO) — A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the African Union Commission (AUC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) was signed today at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva. The MOU defines the modalities of cooperation between the two bodies in support of Africa’s efforts to combat trypanosomiasis. Trypanosomiasis is a severe disease of man and domestic animals, transmitted by tsetse flies, which occurs in 37 African countries where it causes death, debility, diminished productivity and massive economic losses and is a serious constraint to socio-economic development.

Speaking on the occasion of the signing of the MOU, H.E. Mrs. Rhoda P. Tumusiime, Commissioner in charge of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union Commission, pointed out that the great negative impact and threat of the disease on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa’s rural poor had inspired African governments to embark on a Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC). She reported that several countries had already initiated action aimed at eradicating trypanosomiasis, including two countries, Botswana and Namibia, which have recently been successfully rendered tsetse and trypanosomiasis-free. While all the affected countries are committed to achieving the objectives of the PATTEC Initiative, many are inundated by many other health and development challenges and are severely constrained by limitations in available resources.

The African Union Commission, which is mandated to promote and coordinate activities in the implementation of the PATTEC Initiative, is currently involved in efforts to mobilize support from Africa’s partners to consolidate and enhance the activities of the campaign. H.E. Tumusiime welcomed the support, cooperation and partnership of the WHO in Africa’s struggle to achieve the objectives of PATTEC and gratefully acknowledged the work and role of WHO in providing technical guidance and mobilizing assistance in support of Africa’s struggle to control sleeping sickness. She expressed her belief that the effectiveness of the two organizations in discharging the obligations of their respective mandates in the service of affected Member States would be greatly enhanced by the unified approach and closer cooperation as advocated in the Memorandum of Understanding. The cooperation between the AUC with the WHO in support of the activities in the PATTEC Initiative will greatly enhance the capacity African countries affected by trypanosomiasis in their efforts eliminate the scourge of trypanosomiasis from the continent.

Play now audio summary–African Union Commission/WHO MoU
00:02:43 [mp3 1,55Mb]


“The signature of this agreement is going to strengthen WHO's collaboration with the Commission of the African Union and, in particular, with the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign and it will allow … our two organizations to coordinate and synergize their efforts … aimed at our common goal of … eventually eliminating or eradicating African Trypanosomiasis”.

Dr Lorenzo Savioli, WHO Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases

Signing for the WHO, Dr Hiroki Nakatani, Assistant Director-General, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, welcomed the closer cooperation between his organization and the African Union Commission in their respective mandates and support to Member States affected by trypanosomiasis. Dr Nakatani observed that the signature of this agreement will strengthen WHO’s collaboration with the Commission of the African Union and in particular with the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign, allowing the two organizations to coordinate and synergize their efforts in the initiation, promotion, support and implementation of activities aimed at our common goal of fighting African trypanosomiasis.

Present at the signing of the MOU were, from WHO, Dr Lorenzo Savioli, Director, Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases and Dr Jean Jannin, Coordinator, Innovative and Intensified Disease Management and from the AUC, Mrs Masri Khadija, Ambassador, Permanent Observer, Permanent Delegation of the African Union and Dr John Kabayo, Coordinator, Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC).

Human African trypanosomiasis | African Union

-----------------------------------
*Source: African Union Comission (AUC)

Share