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EAC Secretariat builds Partner States' capacities for diagnosis of the novel Corona Virus

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 20 February, 2020; The EAC Secretariat just finalised an intensive training programme for laboratory experts to detect and diagnose the new novel corona virus (COVID-19) in the East African Community region.

The training was conducted under the EAC Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases (Mobile Labs Programme) in collaboration with the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM). The programme is part of the financial support provided to the EAC Region by the German Development Bank (KfW) on behalf of Federal Republic of Germany. The training aimed at building capacity in the region to detect COVID-19

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EAC Secretariat asks Partner States to step up surveillance on a novel Corona Virus (2019-nCoV) following outbreak in China

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 27 January 2020. The EAC Secretariat issues an alert to all Partner States after an infectious disease outbreak caused by a novel Corona virus in the city of Wuhan, Republic of China. By 26 January 2020 the number of reported confirmed cases had increased to more than 2,000 people and 56 had died according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Most of the cases occurred in China and sporadic ones have been reported from Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Vietnam. Nearly all of them have links to Wuhan. For the time being WHO decided against declaring the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) but is closely monitoring the development.

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20th EAC Anniversary: EAC next generation health leaders and scientists to tackle the health challenges of the millennium

The East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC), an Institution of the East African Community (EAC), has established the Young East African Health Research Scientists Forum (YEARS' FORUM) which is an initiative that aims at empowering young East African researchers to be able to shape the future of research for health in the region.

YEARS’ Forum was approved by the 15th EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers of Health (EAC/Health/15SCM/Decision 22) as one of the pre-conference meetings of the East African Health and Scientific Conference (EAHSC) and launched by the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania during the 7th EAHSC held in Dar es Salaam from 27th – 29th March 2019. YEARS’ Forum creates a culture of research and support for young scientists in health science by building a network of six PhD students from each of the six EAC countries (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda) and linking them with a network of senior health research professionals across the region, and at the same time each of the six PhD students establishing a team of six members with similar interest in his/her country to work together in defined research activities.

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1st NOVEMBER 2019

We, the Ministers responsible for Health in the EAC Partner States in collaboration with Investors, Development Partners, Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations’ Leaders, assembled here in Nairobi City, Republic of Kenya, today the 1st of November, 2019, for the 2nd EAC Joint Ministerial, Development Partners and Investors’ Roundtable on Investment in Health;

Noting that the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community provides for the promotion of the management of health delivery systems and better planning mechanisms to enhance efficiency within the Partner States;

Further noting that significant strides have been made in the development of policies to enhance cooperation in health and observing that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, target 3.8 on achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), especially access to quality essential health care services, equity and financial risk protection;

Acknowledging that Universal Health Coverage is only achievable if there is political commitment from the Partners States and accountable governance in the policy making and service delivery process;

Concerned that external funding in health especially vertical programs such as HIV, TB, Malaria and immunization, is expected to decline over the coming years and could affect the gains made in health for the EAC Partner states;

Appreciating the continued support and commitment from the health development partners, Investors, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector;

Concerned about the high level of out of pocket expenditure for health services in the EAC region, for Partner States, compared to the recommended WHO threshold of 20%, and leading to catastrophic expenditures and later on to impoverishment of families,

Recognising that health is wealth and that investing in health is the cornerstone for socioeconomic transformation;   

We, the Ministers responsible for Health in the EAC Partner States, in collaboration with Investors, Development Partners, Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations’ Leaders, on this First day of November 2019 hereby resolve to:

  1. Continue to provide leadership and support in the implementation of the Health Sector investment priorities especially the operationalisation of the EAC Regional Centers of Excellence in Partner States;
  1. Explore and implement innovative financing mechanisms to increase domestic resources for health in Partner States
  1. Continue to support the strengthening of EAC regional capacities for infrastructure and human resources development for the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from epidemic prone infectious diseases
  1. Support mechanisms geared towards strengthening health professional regulatory bodies to ensure availability and performance of qualified and skilled workforce for the delivery of quality health care services;
  1. Strengthen the capacities of National Medicines Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) to improve access to quality, efficacious and affordable medicines in Partner States in line with the EAC decision;
  1. Oversee the conduct of regular performance review, the generation of evidence for knowledge management and evaluation of programs in the health sector to inform policies for better delivery of quality health care;
  1. Support the implementation of the digital health initiatives in Partner States for efficient health care service delivery;
  1. Enhance Investors, Private Sector, Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders engagement through Public Private Partnership to support governments towards better health care service delivery and attainment of Universal Health Coverage;
  1. Sustain efforts in advocating for increased domestic financing for the Health Sector;
  1. Promote and coordinate the establishment of an accountability framework for all health sector stakeholders.


Investment in Health Sector critical to the development of EAC region

...as region looks to mobilize USD$3.5 billion for Nine (9) Health Sector Priorities

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 31st October 2019: The Chairperson of EAC the Sectoral Council on Health and Minister of State In charge of Public Health and Primary Health in Rwanda, Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi has said investment in health is critical for ensuring human and socio-economic development in East Africa.

“As we invest in health, it’s my conviction that our investments are made in strategic areas, that offer maximum value for money and benefit to the people of East Africa,” said Dr. Ndimubanzi.

The Minister called for stronger partnerships that leverage the unique skills and resources of governments, civil society, and the private sector to improve the delivery of health services in the region.

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East African Community
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United Republic of Tanzania

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