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EAC Council of Ministers of Health to approve joint Ebola Plan of Action

THE East, Central and Horn of African countries have devised an ambitious Action Plan to combat Ebola Virus Disease from spreading in the regions.  

Known as “Regional Ebola Virus Disease Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan of Action” is expected to be approved by the Council of Ministers of Health Meeting taking place in Arusha from 13th to 17th October 2014.

The three regions will work together in planning, coordination and resource mobilization under the auspice of the East African Community’s (EAC) Secretariat.

According to the proposed Plan of Action, countries in the regions, would work together in ensuring strong surveillance of the disease and strengthening of laboratory facilities to improve Ebola diagnostic capacity.

Countries will also collaborate in human resource capacity building where by the EAC Secretariat will undertake system analysis in Partner states, harmonize and implement training of trainers.

Public awareness will also be undertaken to make sure that public gets correct, timely, specific and relevant information regarding the disease and its preventive measures.

In order to improve awareness, Ministries of Health in Partner States are expected to use multiple channels of communication to inform the public on the development of the disease.

Other actions to be taken jointly include review and harmonization of National Policies and laws, conduct research, infection prevention and control, outbreak management and case management.

The Initiative is supported by the African Union, EAC, IGAD and World Health Organization (WHO).

The Ebola Virus Disease Started in Guinea and later spread to Liberia, Sierra Leon and Nigeria. During the current outbreak the disease has claimed over 2900 lives in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Written by Faraja Mgwabati