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EAC partner states receive donation to improve hygiene at borders

EAC partner states receive donation to improve hygiene at borders

THE East African Community (EAC), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) have officially handed over hand washing facilities to authorities in six EAC Partner States.

The donation was part of efforts to strengthen cross border collaboration on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

A total of 32 such facilities have been built in high risk areas for the spread of infectious diseases in the six countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The cooperation project that ended with the hand-over of these facilities also included risk and crisis communication and sensitisation measures in the respective communities.

The hand washing facility at Kamanga Point of Entry in the country’s city of Mwanza was handed over to the government on May 14, 2022.

This was revealed during a regional meeting held recently in Mwanza that brought together national authorities, experts, decision-makers, and key stakeholders across the EAC region.

The meeting also aimed to identify and address gaps in strengthening cross-border preparedness and response and promote regional standards and policies in accordance with the International Health Standards (IHS).

The meeting provided an opportunity to understand the current cross border situation on health and WASH gaps and key public health threats, discuss issues, challenges, gaps, and opportunities as well as operational modalities to strengthen cross border coordination mechanisms to better respond to WASH, infection prevention and control gaps in the EAC region.

Participants also discussed and agreed on key action points for a bilateral and multilateral mechanism to enhance cross-border collaboration; and to develop a road map as a strategic priority to enhance regional cross border collaboration.

The facilities were built through a regional project known as ‘WASH and health promotion sensitisation and awareness on Covid-19 and other communicable diseases in the EAC region’.

The project came against a backdrop of high human mobility and risk of spread of communicable diseases in the region.

The project is expected to increase awareness and enhance health and hygiene protective behaviours and practices to prevent the spread of zoonotic and water-borne infectious diseases including Covid-19, in selected high-risk areas along transport and waterway corridors in the six partner states.

“The project has helped increase awareness and enhance health and hygiene protective behaviours and practices to prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases including Covid-19 in EAC region,” said Christophe Bazivamo, the EAC Deputy Secretary General responsible for Productive and Social Sectors.

Mr Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for the East and Horn of Africa said: “Population mobility across borders is one of the main factors that drove the spread of Covid-19 and made the pandemic so complex and difficult to contain. IOM shall continue its support to national public responses for Covid-19 and other pandemics.”

GIZ representative, Mr David Mbulumi, said: “We believe that experience and lessons from implementation of this project will be useful as reference points in strengthening cross border preparedness and response.”

The 1.8 million EUR project was financially and technically supported by the German Government through the ‘Support to Pandemic Preparedness in the EAC Region project and implemented through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

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EAST African Community (EAC) partner states ...

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Author: DAILY NEWS REPOTER

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