KENYA—In preparation for the Health Emergencies Preparedness, Response, and Resilience Programme (HEPRRP), Harry Kimutai, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Medical Services, had a conference with stakeholders to plan this regional health programme launch.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Jane Chuma, the World Bank’s Kenya Country Office Representative; Prof. Yoswa Dambisya, Director General of the East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community; Dr. Fatuma Adan, Head of Mission to Kenya from the IGAD Secretariat; and Dr. Peter Cherutich, HEPRRP Kenya Project Coordinator.

The meeting was held to prepare for the regional launch of the World Bank-funded Health Emergencies Preparedness, Response, and Resilience Programme (HEPRRP) for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Kenya will host the launch, which will bring together delegates from a number of regional countries, including Ethiopia and Sao Tome & Principe.

 Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are also anticipated to join the program in May 2024.

The World Bank-endorsed Health Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Resilience Program (HEPRR) will promote strong regional collaboration across sectors to improve health security and system capacity.

The multi-phase HEPRR effort aims to significantly improve health emergency preparedness and response across Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.

The initial phase alone aims to reach over 182 million people, with beneficiary numbers expected to rise as more countries and partners join over the next seven years.

With a US$1 billion credit and grant budget, the first phase, backed by US$359 million, includes Ethiopia, Kenya, Sao Tome and Principe, the East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The initiative stresses regional and multisectoral collaboration to improve health security and system capacities, notably benefiting vulnerable groups such as mothers, children, internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, and livestock farmers susceptible to zoonotic diseases.

HEPRR is designed to address the rising challenges posed by multiple health emergencies in Africa, exacerbated by causes like as climate change, while also calling for new multisectoral methods.

Furthermore, it promotes national and regional health emergency preparedness and response systems, emphasizing the significance of a strong regulatory and market ecology in reducing Africa’s dependency on imports, particularly pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

HEPRR coordinates other public expenditures by engaging in significant policy engagement at the national level, encouraging synergies, and eliminating duplication of efforts with development partners.

 The initiative also promotes cross-country collaboration, leveraging the World Bank’s partnerships with member countries, regional economic communities (RECs), and continental agencies such as the Africa CDC to boost preparedness and response operations.

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