Director of the Africa CDC visits CAPRISA

30 June 2021

Dr John Nkengasong the first Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention visited CAPRISA on 26th May. “I am here to thank you for your support and guidance to the Africa CDC’s work. CAPRISA, he said “is an inspiration to the continent and the world.”  Nkengasong was accompanied by Dr Nicaise Ndembi (Senior Science Advisor), Dr Andrea Thiel (Senior Strategy Advisor) and Ms Laura Ambe (Executive Assistant) from the Africa CDC, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The delegation had an informative tour of CAPRISA led by Professor Salim Abdool Karim.

In his virtual address to CAPRISA staff and fellows Nkengasong presented an epidemiological update in Africa and an update on Covid-19 in Africa. As the continent was entering a third wave, he said Covid-19 highlighted Africa’s dependence on vaccines from abroad - 99% of vaccines are imported and 1% manufactured locally. He expressed concern that vaccine roll out was slow on the continent – 24m doses administered compared to 1.5 billion globally. Nkengasong called for the expansion of antigen testing capacity, the monitoring of the Covid-19 situation and the enhancement of public health measures on the African continent.

 On his return to Addis Ababa, Nkengasong, wrote:  “After more than a year of working together (with Prof Salim Abdool Karim, Director of CAPRISA) on the Consortium for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials (CONCVACT) and having benefitted from your experience and guidance on different aspects of the continental COVID-19 response, it was truly a pleasure to meet you and your team in person.”


PHOTO: Back Row (L-R): Ms Hlekani Liesbeth Mangate & Mr Edward Matlaila (Dept of Health); Dr Nicaise Ndembi; Dr Andrea Thiel; Ms Laura Ambe (Admin Assistant to the Director).  Front Row (L-R): Prof Salim Abdool Karim (CAPRISA: Director); Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim (CAPRISA Ass Scientific Director); Dr John Ngengasong & Prof Tulio de Oliviera (Director: KRISP).