The Covid-19 pandemic has arguably resulted in severe impacts such as those of loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social systems have also experienced devasting disruptions.

AERC-BMGF Project was initiated to support COVID-19 response in East Africa timely, decisively and in a coordinated or harmonized manner. In addition, the project aimed to mitigate the impacts and challenges of the pandemic on East African economies. Above all, it’s primary purpose being to provide policy options for mitigating the impact for COVID19 pandemic for the East African Member states.

The Project implementation has been divided into 5 thematic Technical Working Groups, with the Health Technical Working Group of the project being led by the Kenya Healthcare Federation under the East African Health Federation (EAHF) and supported by EAC Secretariat and by Health Ministries across countries, to mobilize efforts for effective coordination of regional surveillance systems and coordinate interventions geared at self-preservation to save lives and help with a coordinated mechanism for mass testing, contact tracing, isolation, social distancing, and medical guidelines on how to stay safe, certified PPEs and smooth cross-border trade.

To address the social, economic and health implications caused by COVID 19, the Bill and Melinda Gates Fund partnered with AERC on the project to provide policy options for mitigating these COVID-19 implications. These policy options are to provide a timely and coordinated approach for dealing with pandemics and the impacts they make.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the different East African countries. Therefore, there’s a need for new and innovative ways to improve the capacity of the health sector among other sectors to handle cases of pandemics and enforcement of COVID-19 related regulations so that there is empowerment to use the existing regional pandemic surveillance frameworks to respond to pandemics accordingly.

As pandemics occur from time to time, it is imperative that all the East African member states have the requisite knowledge, attitudes and capacities to respond to pandemics and boost coordination and quality of pandemic response interventions.

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