IGAD Ministers in Charge of Health Agree on a Regional Preparedness Scheme against Outbreaks

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with support from the UNOCHA and the UNDP, this morning held a ministerial level meeting a Regional Preparedness and Response for Outbreaks and Epidemics in Nairobi.

The Ministers of Health of Somalia, Sudan and Uganda graced the meeting with their presence and delivered key note speeches in which they all pledged commitment to the establishment of a regional surveillance mechanism for the information sharing, coordination, and collaboration in view of preventing, preparing and responding to disease outbreaks.

Acting UN Resident Coordinator-Kenya a.i., Mr Raouf Mazou, in his turn urged for the adoption of both a short-term and long-term approach, highlighted the regional dimension of the issue, and pledged full support of the UN system to this regional endeavour.

IGAD-UNOCHA-UNDP convened this IGAD Ministerial Meeting to discuss the current Cholera outbreak and other potential communicable diseases outbreaks in the Horn of Africa region.

At the end of the meeting, a Final Declaration was made in which IGAD Ministries of Health committed themselves to maintain political will and mobilize resources while working in partnership with the UN agencies and other stakeholders to prevent epidemic outbreaks and if they occur, to respond jointly.

The Final Declaration will enable the development of a contingency plan with specific strategies aiming at responding, and adequately controlling the current Cholera crisis, and preventing any other epidemic outbreaks in the region.

The Ministerial meeting was preceded by a Meeting of Experts on public health and epidemic risks from IGAD Member States, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Action (UNOCHA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Kenyan Red Cross, and other organizations involved in epidemic outbreaks prevention and response in the Horn of Africa region.

Source: Peace,Prosperity And Regional Integration