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Official Launch of the East African Health and Research Commission Headquarters in Bujumbura, Republic of Burundi, 05th December 2018

The East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC) in collaboration with its board of Commissioners is organizing the Official Launch of the Headquarter of the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC), located in quartier Kigobe, Republic of Burundi, on 05th December 2018.

The East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC) is an institution of the East African Community (EAC) established by EAC Heads of State on 18th June, 2007 as a mechanism for making available to the community, advise upon all matters of health and health related research and findings necessary for knowledge generation, technological development, policy formulations, practices and related matters. EAHRC is the principal advisory institution to the EAC on Health Research and Development (R&D).

Operationalization of the Commission commenced in July 2015.

As per the decision of the 24th EAC Council of Ministers held in Bujumbura, Burundi, on 26th November 2011 (EAC/CM24/Decision09), the Permanent Headquarters of the Commission is located in the City of Bujumbura in the Republic of Burundi.

The launch of the EAHRC headquarters is expected to bring together Officials from the Government of Burundi, Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Republic of Bujumbura, EAC Secretariat, and Executives of the EAC Institutions, Board of EAHRC Commissioners, EAHRC Stakeholders and EAHRC Staff.

For any information about that event, please contact Ms. Betty Nankya via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  
Mob: +25775568506 
Tel: +(257) 22 27 99 80/1/2
+(257)22259715
Bujumbura-BURUNDI
Web: http://www.eac.int or www.eac.bi

 

Germany commits US$34 million for Immunization Programme with the EAC

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 22nd November, 2018: The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has committed a grant of US$34 million (EUR 30 million) to the East African Community (EAC) to support the regional organisation’s immunization efforts. The EAC Secretary General, Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko, and the Deputy Ambassador of Germany to the EAC, Mr. Jörg Herrera, jointly signed the according Government Agreement in Dar es Salaam today.

With the additional grant, Germany will be financing the procurement of vaccines for children in the EAC against various diseases including measles, rotavirus, pneumococcus, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and yellow fever. The programme will be financed through KfW, the German Development Bank and implemented in collaboration with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The cooperation aims at reducing child mortality in the region and mainly targets newborns.

This new commitment will bring Germany`s contribution to EAC’s regional immunization programmes to approximately US$170 million (EURO 150 million) since 2012. To date, German Development Cooperation with the EAC has financed over 60 million doses of life-saving vaccines for the region and the average immunization coverage in the region was substantially increased, making the EAC’s immunization programmes the strongest in Sub-Sahara Africa.

"Germany is a committed partner to the East African regional integration process. We are proud that our cooperation with the EAC and the Gavi Alliance is contributing greatly to improve child health in the region,” said Amb. Herrera.

Amb. Herrera further said that vaccinations were a highly effective and cost effective means to fight child mortality, adding that particularly focus needs to be put on children from poor families as they often lack sufficient access to quality health care.

Mr Herrera also commended the EAC for its comprehensive approach to address priority health issues in the EAC region such as the control and prevention of infectious diseases, and pandemics and mother and child health.

EAC and Germany celebrated their 20th anniversary of development cooperation last month after holding successful Government Negotiations at the EAC Headquarters. Health is one of the two focal areas of the two sides, the other being Regional Economic and Social Integration.

Germany development cooperation, through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has to date contributed to regional integration in East Africa through a variety of programmes and projects in these areas. With the new commitments signed today, Germany's funding for Technical and Financial Cooperation with the EAC amounts to over US$350 million.

The Secretary General was accompanied by the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge, Chef de Cabinet, Dr. James Njagu, and the Principal Legal Officer, Mr. Michel Ndayikengurukiye. From the German Embassy’s side, the Head of Regional Cooperation, Ms Norzin Grigoleit-Dagyab, and Political Officer Pamela Kanora were present as well as Ms Annika Calov, KfW Country Director to Tanzania and the EAC, and Pascal Kanyinyi, KfW’s Senior Project Coordinator Health.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

EAC Partner States National Medical Laboratory Diagnostics Experts Trained on Early Detection and Diagnosis of Highly Infectious Communicable Diseases

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 30thOctober, 2018:  A four-week long practical Training of Trainers (ToTs) course involving twelve (12) medical laboratory experts from the EAC Partner States’ National Public Health Reference Laboratories (NPHLs), concluded on Friday, 26thOctober, 2018 at the Bernharfd Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) Headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. 

The training was conducted from 1stto 26thOctober 2018 and focused on the assembly, operation, use and field deployment of the nine High Technology EAC Mobile Medical Laboratory equipment, reagents and supplies for the early detection and diagnosis of various highly infections biological agents such as the various Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs), namely: Ebola, Marburg, Crimean-Congo Fever, Yellow Fever, among others which are endemic in East and Central Africa. 

Currently, the EAC with technical and financial support from Germany through the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Development Bank (KfW) and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) is implementing theEast African Community Regional Network of Mobile Medical Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases Project.”In 2016, Germany committed an initial three-year funding of Euro 10 Million for the project. Negotiations are currently underway for additional funding of Euro 13 Million for the year 2020 and beyond.

The main objective of the EAC Mobile Medical Laboratories Project is tostrengthen capacities in all six EAC Partner States to respond to pathogens of biosafety level 3 and 4 nature and other outbreaks of highly infectious diseases that are prone to cause cross-border epidemics by rapid mobile diagnostic capacities that enable timely interventions through joint collaboration, linkages and cross-border networking among the National Public Health Reference Laboratories (NPHLs) in each of the EAC Countries. The participating NPHLs in the Partner States are: Institut National de Santé Publique (INSP), Burundi; National Public Health Laboratory Services, Kenya; National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Rwanda; Public Health Laboratory and National Blood Transfusion Centre, South Sudan; National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Centre (NHLQATC), Tanzania and Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL), Uganda.

In addition, the EAC Mobile Laboratories Project has broad actions that include the training of various health and medical laboratory technical experts on the early detection and diagnosis of highly infectious pathogens and exchange of knowledge among Partner States at regional, national and sub-national levels, including joint disease outbreak investigations and response in cross-border areas.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

EAC region prepares to test its preparedness and response capacity for outbreaks of infectious diseases

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 12th October, 2018: The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat is intensifying preparedness efforts against outbreaks of infectious diseases in the region. “The world continues to be challenged by public health threats like the current Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo which are prone to crossing borders and threatening lives and livelihoods and the economy as a whole”, said Frederik Copper of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Headquarters in Geneva at an EAC stakeholder meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. It was therefore important to exercise, practice and plan to build capacity for better outbreak preparedness and response. The stakeholder meeting took place at the International Center for Insect Ecology and Physiology (icipe) on 11-12 October 2018. It kicked off the preparation for a cross-border field simulation exercise in Namanga in June 2019. “The EAC Secretariat will convene the exercise under the directive of the Sectoral Council of Ministers of Ministers of Health”, says Andrew Charles, EAC Health Department.

The simulation will take place around the One Stop Border Post between Kenya and Tanzania and involve the EAC Partner States of Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda. It will be facilitated by WHO as the lead agency and stage a One Health scenario that involves different sectors of society. The approach includes all stakeholders which are affected by an outbreak or can contribute to preparedness, response and mitigation. It reflects the fact that most outbreaks are of a zoonotic nature meaning that they can be transmitted between humans and animals.

The exercise is being planned at a time where the region is under threat of the current Ebola virus disease outbreak close to the border with Uganda. By 9 October 2018 the number of cases was at 188 and 119 people had died of the disease.

Stakeholders from various sectors in Kenya and Tanzania as well as from regional and international organisations participated in the meeting including agriculture and livestock, trade, tourism, environment, the border post and airports, immigration, business, military and police forces. Furthermore, there were representatives from the Namanga community, farmers, traders and religious leaders.

The EAC Secretariat urged participants to prepare for the field simulation exercise through sensitization on existing contingency plans and training of staff on the ground and to contribute to mobilising the necessary resources for pandemic preparedness.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

 EAC Region intensifies preparedness as Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo near borderline

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 5th October, 2018: The East African Community (EAC) Partner States have intensfied efforts for preparedness and response following the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In a two day joint technical meeting involving the EAC Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) and the DRC held on 2nd and 3rd october 2018 in Entebbe, Uganda, all states reported a high alert position.

In the meeting, which was organised by the EAC Secretariat with support from various partners, the EAC Acting Head of Health, Dr. Michael Katende observed that the risk of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) for EAC Partner States was real and high. The Risk of EVD outbreak is hightened especially for those Partner States that share the border with DRC  due to high of volume of people moving across the borders for trade and other reasons, but also due to the high Influx of refugees, into the EAC region.

At the meeting, the DRC was represented by a 12 man delegation, with a wealth of experience.

The meeting discussed the strengthenining of cross border disease surveillence and emergency preparedness and response.  The meeting noted that the current outbreak in Beni town of the DRC was closer to Uganda’s border hence more efforts for active surveillance. Key to sucess of the efforts employed so far is that there were no confirmed cases of EVD in any of the EAC Partner States.    

According to the delegation from DRC  and  World Health Organisation (WHO), the current EVD outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in DRC was escalated by worsening insecurity, mistrust from affected communities, and extension into previously unaffected areas. As of 2ndOctober 2018, a total of 161 case had been reported, 129 confirmations and a case fatality rate of 57%.

All EAC Partner States at the meeting are currently on a high alert following the July 28th announcement of EVB outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces by WHO,  and have undertaken various preparedness and response activities in case of an outbreak. All countries have undertaken evaluation of their national contigency plans for outbreak response and the capacities to implement them, activated emergency coordination structures with Rapid Response Teams (RRT)  at all levels to monitor and respond in case of an outbreak. Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) have also been established to support the structures.

The staff managing the EOC and RRT have been trained and provided with appropriate equipment to detect and manage the outbreaks. Ambulances for patient transportation, sample storage and transportation, isolation/quarantine facilities, treatment facilities following International Health Regulations (IHR) have also been put in place.

Further the EAC Partner States and DRC have continued to build capacity of frontline health workers in high risk districts, including comunity health workers and security personnel.

In an effort to detect and quickly respond to an outbreak, the EAC Partner States have mapped areas, which have been categorised as High, Medium or Low risk and respoense mechanisms have been put in place. These include among others; Airports, crossborder entry and exit points and high economic activity areas like markets.

Border entry screening at all major border points in all  high-risk districts have also been established. High and medium risk areas are being given special attention in terms of training of staff, supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), continuious screening among others. Using volunteers, and infrared thermometers, everyone crossing into Uganda from DRC is screened for body temperature. Those found with high temperature are further screened for Ebola-like symptoms.

On average, the busy border screening points receive 5,000 people, however during market days, the number grows tremendously; for instance, Mpondwe border point registers over 20,000 people during the market days - every Tuesday and Friday.

With support from WHO, the Republics of Uganda and Rwanda have also considered and plan to use of the Ebola Zaire Vaccine, specifically targeting frontline health workers who are managing the situation.

While the Republic of Burundi has employed using Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTs) to screen/test for EVD. The Republic of South Sudan (RSS) has made arrangements to refer samples to Uganda Virus Research Institute(UVRI) for testing.

In preparation for any suspected case, Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) have also been set up at Bundibugyo General Hospital, Bwera Hospital in Kasese, Rwebisengo Health Center in Ntoroko district and another is under construction at Naguru Friendship Hospital in Kampala.

These are fully equipped and on standby to manage any alert or suspect or confirmed case.

Risk communication and community engagement are also ongoing. Teams are engaged in door to door visits and distribution of Information Education Communication (IEC) material. Further to this, messages are also running on TV and radio to reach the wider public within and outside the high-risk districts.

The Public is urged to be on high alert too by observing a high sense of personal hygiene, avoid overcrowded places, direct contact with other people and to report cases of high temprature and bleeding from ears, nostrils and mouth to the nearest health facilities.

- ENDS-

 For more information please contact: 
Owora Richard Othieno, 
Head of Department, 
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs; 
Tel: +255 784 835021; 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org