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JOHANNESBURG, July 22 (Reuters) – Africa’s main public health body, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will receive $100 million from the World Bank to help African countries prepare for, detect and respond to disease outbreaks.

The Africa CDC has played a major role advising African countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and is also providing guidance on diseases like monkeypox.

The World Bank said in a statement that the financial support would help boost the Africa CDC’s technical capacity and include investments to increase the number of epidemiologists and outbreak responders.

“The project will help to cultivate regional capabilities critical to ensuring a resilient and prepared continent. It will do this by helping to build and maintain a robust public health workforce across countries’ health systems,” the bank said.

The Africa CDC’s acting director Ahmed Ogwell Ouma said the money had come at a critical time as it was aiming to enhance its support to African countries.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Joe Bavier and Andrew Cawthorne)