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Transitioning the COVID-19 response in the WHO African region: a proposed framework for rethinking and rebuilding health systems

Baldé, Thierno, Oyugi, Boniface, Byakika-Tusiime, Jayne, Ogundiran, Opeayo, Kayita, Janet, Banza, Freddy Mutoka, Landry, Kabego, Ejiofor, Ephraim Nonso, Kanyowa, Trevor M., Mbasha, Jerry-Jonas, and others. (2022) Transitioning the COVID-19 response in the WHO African region: a proposed framework for rethinking and rebuilding health systems. BMJ Global Health, 7 (12). Article Number e010242. E-ISSN 2059-7908. (doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2022-010242) (KAR id:99476)


The onset of the pandemic revealed the health system inequities and inadequate preparedness, especially in the African continent. Over the past months, African countries have ensured optimum pandemic response. However, there is still a need to build further resilient health systems that enhance response and transition from the acute phase of the pandemic to the recovery interpandemic/preparedness phase. Guided by the lessons learnt in the response and plausible pandemic scenarios, the WHO Regional Office for Africa has envisioned a transition framework that will optimise the response and enhance preparedness for future public health emergencies. The framework encompasses maintaining and consolidating the current response capacity but with a view to learning and reshaping them by harnessing the power of science, data and digital technologies, and research innovations. In addition, the framework reorients the health system towards primary healthcare and integrates response into routine care based on best practices/health system interventions. These elements are significant in building a resilient health system capable of addressing more effectively and more effectively future public health crises, all while maintaining an optimal level of essential public health functions. The key elements of the framework are possible with countries following three principles: equity (the protection of all vulnerable populations with no one left behind), inclusiveness (full engagement, equal participation, leadership, decision-making and ownership of all stakeholders using a multisectoral and transdisciplinary, One Health approach), and coherence (to reduce the fragmentation, competition and duplication and promote logical, consistent programmes aligned with international instruments).

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1136/bmjgh-2022-010242
Uncontrolled keywords: COVID-19, WHO Regional Office for Africa
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: George Austin-Coskry
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2023 12:49 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2023 15:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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