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Pandemic Preparedness Articles

Joint efforts towards better preparedness in the East African Community

Arusha, 27 December 2021: On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. Almost two years since, there have been over 5 million deaths globally, great disruption to trade and devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of communities across the world.

The initial response to the outbreak was slow or lacking altogether in many parts of the world. Numerous systems in place were not prepared or did not provide for swift response and mitigation measures. Many perceived the outbreak singularly as a health issue and thus, the response was conducted as such, locking out key stakeholders from sectors such as agriculture, education, trade, tourism and many more, all which were also greatly slammed by repercussions of the outbreak.

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Members of the German delegation, GIZ and IOM staff pose for a photo at the WASH project site in Namanga

Border staff see benefits from infection prevention training

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 23 November 2021. A training of trainers (ToT) programme targeting border posts staff on COVID-19 preparedness and response was very beneficial. This is the testimony of participants of the training when they met a delegation of German officials at Namanga on the Kenya and Tanzania border recently. The 2-day trainings were offered over a period of 12 weeks from September 2020.

The visiting officials included Claudia Imwolde-Kraemer from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Jennifer Wörl and Dr. Ralf Orlik, German Development Bank (KfW), and Johannes Sperrfechter from the German Embassy in Tanzania. They talked to Peter Ndichu and Frank Okwema who are beneficiaries of the ToT that aimed at enhancing the capacity of staff for infection prevention and for communicating the COVID-related risks to travellers that include thousands of EAC citizens and tourists.

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National validations for EAC Regional One Health Strategy have kick-off in Tanzania

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 9th November 2021: National validation meetings for the EAC Regional One Health Strategy started yesterday with Tanzania being the first to convene the key forum among the six EAC Partner States. The meeting was opened by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Kaspar Mmuya.

“The One Health approach has been recognized as a major element of disease control and prevention strategies as it emphasizes the relatedness of human, animal, plant and environmental health, and the importance of transdisciplinary efforts,” Mmuya said in his opening speech.

He thanked all key players who took part in the development of the Strategy and specifically thanked the German Government and GIZ in close collaboration with the EAC Secretariat for their technical and financial support.

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A group photo of the participants of the 9th Regional Steering Committee Meeting of the EAC Regional Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases (EAC – RNPHRL) .

Partner States laud contribution of EAC Mobile Laboratories project in enhancing national Covid-19 response initiatives

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 22nd October, 2021: The 9th Regional Steering Committee Meeting of the EAC Regional Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases (EAC – RNPHRL) concluded on Friday, with delegates commending the contribution of the EAC Mobile Laboratories towards regional efforts to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his remarks, Dr. John Ndemi Kiiru, Head, Department of Laboratory Services, Ministry of Health, Republic of Kenya observed that the Mobile Laboratories project was a noble initiative that will have a great impact on the lives of the people of East Africa not only in the short term but in the long terms as well. “The Labs have facilitated the Partner States to undertake various initiatives that would have otherwise been impossible to undertake,” he added.

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East African Community
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