TANZANIA – Tanzania has secured a fleet of 8 vehicles from the World Health Organization (WHO) that will be positioned within the Ministry of Health to further strengthen multisectoral national platforms for Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) to ensure coordinated action on disaster risk reduction.

WHO will work closely with Tanzania to develop in-country teams of highly skilled, resourced and well-coordinated professionals capable of arriving at a location of disasters or disease outbreaks within the shortest time possible and coordinating a rapid response to minimize their effects.

In addition, the World Health Organization plans to further implement the Emergency Preparedness and Response Flagship projects initiative in Tanzania with an aim to promote multisectoral convergence of resources and skills for rapid and efficient response to a disaster.

The EPR cluster at WHO Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) works with national governments in the African Region to strengthen their capacity to prevent, prepare for, detect, and respond to health emergencies.

WHO works long-term with Member States to improve their operational readiness and handle the initial impact of emergencies and subsequent recovery.

WHO will partner with select countries to unveil three EPR flagship projects namely Promoting Resilience of Systems for Emergencies Flagship Project, Transforming African Surveillance Systems (TASS) Flagship Project and Strengthening and Utilizing Response Groups for Emergencies (SURGE).

The flagships will integrate and strengthen existing human resources for emergency response including existing Public Health Emergency Operating Centres (PHEOCs), Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) and Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) run by national governments.

The EPR initiative will be scaled up regionally over the next five years in an effort to address frequent conflicts and natural emergency events challenging the African Region causing injury, death, population displacement, destruction of health facilities and disruption of services often leading to disasters.

The WHO Emergency Preparedness and Response Flagship projects initiative seeks to promote health security in the African Region as well as build on existing infrastructure to put in place a well-organized partner support system that augments national capacity when needed.

Tanzania is among the priority countries benefitting from the implementation of World Health Organization Emergency Preparedness and Response projects initiative that will also incorporate lessons learned from COVID-19, Ebola and other health emergencies.

Dr. Zabulon Yoti, Acting WHO Representative in Tanzania said that the body will be rolling out training building on available capacity in areas of coordination, surveillance and risk communication, noting that they are taking a multisectoral approach because disasters do not affect health exclusively

To initiate the projects in Tanzania, WHO Tanzania has received eight vehicles that will be positioned within the Ministry of Health multisector coordination mechanism after the capacity-building activities with guidance from the Regional EPR Cluster,” the global intergovernmental health body stated.

Dr. Zabulon Yoti observed that the EPR initiative is an opportunity for Tanzania to further strengthen the capacity in emergency preparedness, early detection and response, adding that it will foster government leadership with WHO support and collaboration with a wide range of partners.

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