Dar es Salaam, 04 August 2017 : After five days of training and hard work, the first-ever East African Regional Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) and Incident Management Training Workshop concludes on a positive note. The workshop participants from the seven countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda) agreed on critical next steps to strengthen their national capacities for responding to emergencies.
The closing ceremony was presided by the Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Mohammed Bakari; the WHO Representative, Dr. Matthieu Kamwa and the Deputy Branch Chief for Global Emergency CDC Atlanta, Ms. Jennifer Brooks.
On behalf of the participants, Dr. Aschalen Workineh, from the MoH/ Ethiopia, presented a vote of thanks to the sponsors and organizers of the workshop and made the following commitments on behalf of the participants:
• To fully apply the knowledge and skills gained from the workshop • To continue sharing information amongst countries through the newly formed network In return, participants requested to be enrolled into the WHO moderated Public Health Emergency Operations Centre Network (EOC-NET) meant to identify and promote best practices and standards for EOCs, and provide support to EOC capacity building in Member States.
The CDC Deputy Chief congratulated the participants for working diligently and sharing their experience in responding to emergencies and the Government of Tanzania for hosting the workshop. “It has been a phenomenal experience for us. We are happy to know that important networks have been formed over the past five days. Such relations will be valuable to the region and to countries as we work to strengthen capacities to respond to emergencies” she commented.
The WHO Representative commended the leadership and hospitality of the Government of Tanzania for hosting the workshop. He encouraged all the participants to keep up the spirit of working together, underscoring that their commitments form an important element of success in combating the array of public health threats that we face in our region. In conclusion, he assured WHO continued collaboration with the government and partners to strengthen national, regional and global health security.
In his closing remarks, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) expressed the government appreciation to WHO and CDC for organizing and supporting the regional workshop. “Africa being a diverse continent, the regional platform provided an opportunity to help harmonize terminologies, and to appreciate the concepts of the PHEOC, Incident Management System, and emergency management principles and standards. It also demonstrated the importance of working in multi-disciplinary teams”, he commented. In conclusion, the CMO assured government’s commitment to collaborate with partners in the areas of PHEOC.