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Outbreak preparedness in the East African Community

Table Top Exercise about a fictional cross border outbreak

Three short videos about a One Health approach to preventing and managing epidemic outbreaks in East Africa

On the way to better pandemic preparedness in the region, the East African Secretariat, with support from GIZ on behalf of the German government, conducted a two day Table Top Exercise on outbreak response. This exercise will be followed by a Full Field Simulation in June 2019.

On September 4 – 5, 2018, more than 100 experts attended a Table Top Exercise (TTX) in Arusha about a fictional cross border Rift Valley Fever (RVF) outbreak in Kenya and Tanzania.

A TTX is a role-playing activity, in which the participants are presented with a fictional scenario about a disease outbreak and are asked to respond to it. When it comes to pandemic preparedness and response, it is essential that the participants work together as an interdisciplinary team. As zoonotic (of animal origin) diseases, such as RVF, impact not only human, animal and environmental health but also affect sectors like tourism and trade, an effective response must follow the One Health Approach.

“The TTX was particularly timely, as our region is frequently impacted by outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever and other diseases of animal origin – including Ebola,” said Dr Michael Katende of the EAC Secretariat Health Department. Thus, the TTX contributed to test pandemic preparedness in the region and to identify current gaps in order to improve those.

The TTX was also an opportunity for the EAC Partner States to share the experiences each country had in the past with disease outbreaks and to discuss and learn from one another.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) facilitated the exercise, with support from the government of Germany through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Hannah Oyss, October 2018

© GIZ / Light in Captivity
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