EPOS' regional long term expert Timothy Wesonga, an experienced veterinarian and health expert from Kenya, recently came to EPOS Headquarter offices in Bad Homburg, Germany, for a comprehensive briefing prior to starting work on the GIZ-funded Pandemic Preparedness project in Arusha, Tanzania, in October 2017.
He will assist the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat staff in improving their capacities in pandemic preparedness in the region. In addition to Western Africa recently being struck by Ebola, Eastern Africa often experiences communicable disease outbreaks which spread from infectious diseases of animals (zoonoses) to human beings. This greatly impacts health, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as livelihoods.
The international health community is initiating a cross-sectoral, integrative management approach entitled ‘One Health’ that views humans, animals, the environment and health as a whole and addresses the sources of health risks.
The EAC Secretariat plays a key role in transboundary disease control and will be strengthened by the project to improve its support for the partner countries in:
institutionalising the 'One Health' approach into Technical Working Groups and University curricula,
developing Standard Operating Procedures, regional contingency plans and an interdisciplinary health database,
capacity development in surveillance, diagnosis, risk assessment of diseases, establishing early warning systems and carry out cross border simulations with the Robert-Koch-Institute,
improved Networking, exchange and Knowledge Management on dealing with epidemics in Africa.
Picture: from left - Naresh Shakya, EPOS Finance and Contracts Manager; Inke Fabian de Barreto, EPOS Managing Director; Timothy Wesonga, EPOS Veterinarian and Health Expert; Raphaël Broniatowski, EPOS Project Manager.