ASSAf and NAS on COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical interventions: A case of the SADC region
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), in collaboration with the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS), undertook a SADC-wide project to disseminate policy briefs that were published by Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL), which is a member organisation of Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 (PERC). The policy briefs sought to profile the regional and country-specific non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 interventions aimed at curbing the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.
The project engaged experts and policymakers on key messages and recommendations of select policy briefs, through the five senior national academies of science in the SADC region namely, the Botswana Academy of Sciences (BAS), Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), Kingdom of eSwatini Academy of Sciences (KEAS), Zambian Academy of Sciences (ZaAS), Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences (ZAS), together with the Zimbabwe Young Academy of Science (ZIMYAS) and ASSAf. The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) also collaborated on the project with three senior academies, namely the Zimbabwe Young Academy of Science (ZIMYAS), the Mauritius Young Academy and the Democratic Republic of Congo Young Academy. The senior as well as young academies hosted webinars that served as a platform to localise the policy briefs to the contexts of their country, with presentations from experts deliberating and presenting on what has worked and providing recommendations for future implementation.
ASSAf continues to play its role as the champion academy in the southern Africa region. This project was part of its continued efforts to capacitate academies in the SADC region to undertake activities aimed at utilising evidence-based scientific advice to influence policy as well as to raise awareness on the value of academies of science.