East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 23rd March 2022: On World Water Day, marked on the 22nd of March the United Nations recognizes the critical and multidimensional role that water plays for individuals, households, communities, governments and businesses globally.
Access to safe drinking water – a precious resource often taken for granted – is a human right. However, access to clean, affordable water remains a real challenge for many people in the East and Horn of Africa, with vulnerable groups being disproportionately affected. Beyond using it for drinking, water also plays an enormous role in preserving the health of people across the region.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 10th March 2022: The East African Community Secretariat urges EAC Partner States to step up measures to prevent and respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases following heavy rains in parts of the EAC region. The recommendation follows reports of an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Kenya that has caused the death of at least three people and information on outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) among livestock in EAC Partner States received by the EAC Secretariat.
“The heavy rainfalls and high temperatures have resulted in high numbers of mosquitos which transmit vector-borne diseases,” says EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo. He has urged EAC Partner States to report such outbreaks to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as required and cautioned that the outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever might be followed by human cases if adequate measures are not taken in time. He also alled for EAC Partner States to step up disease surveillance, control, and vaccination against Yellow Fever among their citizens.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 7th February, 2022: Experts from EAC Partner States’ National Medicines Regulatory Authorities have convened in Entebbe, Uganda to conduct a joint scientific review to assess the safety, efficacy and quality of 20 medical products.
The five-day joint assessment aims at streamlining medicines evaluation and registration procedures in an effort to enhance access to good quality, safe and efficacious medicines in the region.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 3rd February, 2022: The EAC Integrated Health Programme (EIHP) has successfully institutionalised accountability mechanisms for health programmes, and facilitated availability of updated and credible information for health projects in the region, as well as developed key strategic and policy documents to guide integration and cooperation in health.
Speaking during the 5th Joint Steering Committee Meeting for the EIHP, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, noted that the EAC had successfully developed the EAC Comprehensive Regional Integrated Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, New Born Health, HIV and TB Programme 2022-2027. “This document offers a regional framework that paves way for continued cooperation on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV agenda within the Integrated Health Programme”, said Hon. Bazivamo.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 17th December 2021: The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat is making progress in a project aimed at strengthening the capacity of EAC Partner States to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases using hygiene measures, risk communication and community sensitization. The project targets “hotspots” in the region that have a high risk for infection transmission due to crowded living conditions and a lack of clean water as causes of poor hygiene. The Secretariat is collaborating with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the implementation of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project.
Deputy Secretary General of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, recognised the progress made in establishing the handwashing facilities which cater also for children and people with disabilities: “Some of the handwashing facilities have already been completed awaiting handover to authorities and others are at various stages of construction. In addition, more than 1 million people will be reached with health and hygiene promotion initiatives, thanks to a financial support of 1.5 Million EUR from the German government.
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.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 26th August 2021: The EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is implementing a project on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) that will strengthen the capacity of Partner States to prevent and address infectious diseases at hot spot areas in the region.
“We have secured EUR 1.5 million from the German Government for the project. The project aims at increasing awareness and enhancing health and hygiene protective behaviours and practices to prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases including COVID-19,” says EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors Hon. Christophe Bazivamo.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 26th August 2021: Extensive land borders, along with previous disease outbreaks, make the six-member East African Community (EAC) susceptible to communicable infections, including cholera, measles, rift valley fever, yellow fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and e.coli infections.
However, thanks to a financial contribution of EUR 1.5 million from the German government, over one million people will be reached with health and hygiene promotion initiatives, in addition to 19 hand-washing facilities due to be installed in hot spot areas.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 23rd August 2021: COVID-19 most probably did not exist in the East African region before the first official cases were reported in March 2020, a study by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC) indicates.
The study aimed at verifying if COVID-19 infections had already occurred in the region in 2019 and therefore way before the first cases in Africa were reported by WHO in February 2020. It retested frozen swab samples taken from patients who presented with Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) between 01st November 2019 and 29th February 2020.
…as the Secretary General calls for more action as opposed to advocacy from Civil Society and Private Sector
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 13th August, 2021: A delegation from the East African Health Platform (EAHP) led by Dr. Aflodis Kagaba, today paid a courtesy call on the Secretary General of the East African Community, Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
Hon. (Dr). Mathuki and Dr. Kagaba discussed the role of the Civil Society and Private Sector in health matters in the region.