The World Bank has approved 50 million U.S. dollars for disease prevention and control efforts in health systems across East Africa.
he lender said the funds will strengthen access to a network of quality public health laboratories with revitalized disease surveillance, prevention and preparedness capabilities in Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
“The financing will expand the geographic coverage by bringing successful activities to additional facilities in cross border areas,” the bank said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
It said the funds from the bank’s International Development Association (IDA) will build on the achievements of the ongoing East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (EAPHLIN) to establish a network of efficient public health laboratories for the diagnosis and surveillance of communicable diseases in the EAC member countries.
Mamo Umuro, Head for National Public Health Laboratory Services at Kenya’s Ministry of Health, said the project has raised the visibility of laboratories and promoted an evidence-based approach.
According to the lender, in order to ensure health systems are effective in delivering an impact, the project will focus on management and containment of communicable diseases, including establishing isolation units, and bolstering community surveillance activities.
The funds will bolster cross border disease surveillance and outbreak preparedness and response capacities. It will also help scale up gold standard laboratory and disease surveillance systems as well as promote an integrated model for providing diagnostic services in border areas.
Alex Opio, Commissioner of Health Services and Project Coordinator from Uganda said his country’s epidemic and preparedness and response system will be ushered to greater heights.
“The project provides a game changer opportunity to work together to contain the spread of diseases in East Africa,” said Fausta Mosha, Director of the National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Center in Tanzania. Enditem