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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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Preparations in high gear ahead of 2nd EAC Health Sector Ministerial, Development Partners and Investors Roundtable in Nairobi

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 26th October, 2019: Preparations are in high gear for the 2nd East African Community (EAC) Heath Sector Ministerial, Development Partners and Investors Roundtable scheduled to take place from 31st October to 1st November, 2019 at the Hilton Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

The two-day roundtable event themed: “Enhancing Health Sector Investments, Wellbeing and Wealth Creation in the East African Community" is expected to, among other things, provide an opportunity to consolidate efforts and resources of Partner States, Development Partners and Investors towards elaborately defined priorities and investment cases; share experiences, management challenges and visions of future financing trends and issues in order to instruct, improve, enlighten and secure sustainable resources for health and HIV in the EAC region, and; marshal financial and technical resources for implementation of the nine EAC Regional Health Sector Investment Priorities.

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EAC Secretariat urges Partner States to increase risk and crisis communication measures to keep out Ebola Viral Disease

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 22 July 2019:  The confirmation of a fatal Ebola case in the Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) further increases the risk for the East African Community (EAC) region of the outbreak crossing the borders. The Ituri province is only 70 km from the South Sudanese border and even closer to the Ugandan border. The first three cases of Ebola in the EAC region were diagnosed in Uganda in June 2019 and triggered strong response measures by the Ugandan government. Trade is vibrant between DRC and the EAC region and can exacerbate the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) due to the high mobility of people and goods. In the light of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern declared by the World Health Organization,) Dr Michael Katende, acting Head of Health at the EAC Secretariat urges the Partner States to strongly engage the communities in the border regions and traders and trade associations in risk and crisis communication measures. “This is particularly important, as most of the border line is porous and difficult to control” says Katende, “informal and formal traders need to know the risk and be able to take informed decisions to minimise it and to actively take precautions.”

EAC Partner States have put in place precautionary measures to stop the spread of EVD into the EAC region. This includes vaccinating frontline health workers, screening all travellers at points of entry including airports and training the first responders in case of an outbreak. However, these measures might not be sufficient. Dr Michael Katende, acting Head of Health at the EAC Secretariat was especially concerned about EVD spreading into South Sudan with its still rather weak health system.

The EAC Secretariat calls upon the Partner States to increase risk and crisis communication by involving community, religious and other leaders and the media in public awareness raising. At the same time, the Secretariat calls upon traders and trade associations and those travelling across the border with DRC to take extra precaution, as the EVD threat is real:

  • All people crossing the border should cooperate with immigration, health and security officials who are conducting screening at the points of entry and should strictly follow their advice.
  • Frontline health workers and members of the affected communities should accept to be vaccinated against EVD for their own protection and to help prevent the further spread of EVD.
  • People in the affected regions should avoid unnecessary ‘body to body’ contact as this is the main way of disease transmission.
  • The public should be vigilant and immediately inform the nearest health workers when spot a person with signs of EVD which are: fever, severe headache, body weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and unexplained haemorrhage (bleeding or bruising) from various body outlets like the nose, ears and mouth. This is particularly important along the “green border” where no screening measures are in place.


Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern


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 six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certifie

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

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