EAC strengthens outbreak response

by Amref Health Africa

As East African Community (EAC) Partner States ease measures that were established to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the EAC Secretariat has commenced a training of trainers’ course for staff at 12 One Stop Border Posts in the region.

The training that aims at strengthening the prevention of and response to Covid-19 and other communicable diseases, involves staff from various sectors in line with the One Health approach.

The training programme kicked off this week at the Isebania/Sirari border post between Kenya and Tanzania, conducted by AMREF Flying Doctors in close cooperation with the EAC Secretariat.

“Depending on the size of the border posts, between 16 and 32 staff members are trained as trainers in 2-day courses,” the EAC Secretariat said in a statement issued at the weekend.

The participants come from customs, immigration, port health and animal health, bureau of standards, security, cargo and baggage handlers from both sides of the border as well as from the Joint Border Management Committees.

“This contributes at the same time to regional integration. Clearing agents are also included in the training,” the statement read.

The training of trainers’ approach allows for upscaling of the measure and takes the high staff turn-over rates at border posts into account.

“The participants in this training will in turn train their colleagues on the skills they have acquired to further cascade the message and ensure that the busy border posts can effectively prevent the spread of Covid-19 and detect and respond to infected passengers”, Anthony Kihara of AMREF Flying Doctors was quoted in the statement.

“The scope of the training focuses on operations at the OSBP with close contact to travellers and their luggage,” he added.

The Principal Customs Officer for Capacity Building at the EAC Secretariat, Stephen Analo, who coordinates the training, is convinced that “all the EAC Partner States will benefit from this initiative”.

The training is facilitated by the Germany Government through the “Support to Pandemic Preparedness in the EAC Region” project, in cooperation between the EAC Secretariat and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The next training will take place from today through Wednesday at the Malaba border post between Kenya and Uganda. 10 further OSBPs between all EAC Partner States are earmarked for the trainings.

Article first published on dailynews.co.tz

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