EAST AFRICAN COUNTRIES SET OUT TO CONTROL, ERADICATE CROSS-BORDER INFECTION OF COMMNUICABLE DISEASES

ARUSHA, TANZANIA, Five of the six member States of the East African Community (EAC) have embarked on measures to control and eradicate cross-border infections for all communicable diseases in the sub-region, with a roadmap for implementation of the first year of the project scheduled to take effect between next month and June, 2018.

Health officials from Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi have just completed their joint meeting on orientation and planning on the operationalisation of the Regional Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases (RNPHRL) at the EAC headquarters in this city in northern Tanzania.

The meeting sought to strengthen the EAC partner states’ capacities to respond to pathogens of bio-safety level three and four nature as well as other outbreaks of infectious diseases which cause cross-border epidemics by rapid diagnostic capacities to enable timely interventions.

Speaking on behalf of EAC Secretary-General Liberat Mfumukeko, the EAC Secretariat’s Principal Health Officer, Dr Stanley Sonoiya, stressed the importance of experts from EAC partner state to orient on the requirements for RNPHRL operationalisation.

The establishment of RNPHRL has been necessitated by the growing challenge of epidemics and pandemics, including viral haemorrhagic fevers like Ebola, with devastating health and economic impacts amidst limited infrastructure for most of the laboratories are at biosafety level two, he added.

Dr Sonoiya said RNPHRL members met between Sept 19 and 21 and, among other matters, shared experiences from partner states with regard to RNPHRL operationalisation and other key national and international laboratories.

They developed a calendar of activities and roadmap for the first year of executing the project, including determination of the date and venue for the project launch.

The three-day meeting availed delegates with an opportunity to share experience on the operationalisation of the National and Central Public Health Reference Laboratories, Dr Sonoiya said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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