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APO International

Lesotho Endorses Emergency, Preparedness, Response Flagship Initiative Roadmap to Ensure Health Security

todayMarch 22, 2024 3

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The Government of Lesotho has endorsed and launched the Emergency, Preparedness, and Response Flagship Initiative Roadmap. This was done with the support from the World Health Organisation(WHO) and Africa CDC.

In 2023, the country enrolled in the WHO EPR Flagships initiative. The overarching goal of the Emergency, Preparedness, and Response flagship initiative is to promote health security in the African Region and contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 – “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages.

The three Emergency, Preparedness, and Response flagship initiatives are (i) promoting the resilience of systems for emergencies (ii) transforming African surveillance systems, and (iii) strengthening and utilizing response groups for emergencies.

 These were developed by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa and Africa CDC by recommendations from various WHO committees and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen health emergency preparedness and response for member states in the African region.

Speaking on the importance of this initiative during the endorsement event, WHO Representative to Lesotho, Dr. Richard Banda stated that health security is a critical mission for Lesotho.

“If we miss this opportunity, we risk subjecting Lesotho to the same flaws that hindered the national response to COVID-19: a deficiency in coordination, information sharing, and case management.  We cannot permit the pattern of fear and disregard to continue. The pandemic left us all with terrible lessons that we will never be able to forget”.

In addition, the National Coordinator for Africa CDC in Lesotho, Ester Muchenje said the launch of the flagship roadmap in Lesotho is a big milestone that will ensure joint efforts to protect the health of the people, and Africa CDC is delighted to be part of this initiative.

“Africa CDC is working together with the WHO in the flagship initiative to capacitate member states to be able to prepare, detect, and respond to health emergencies in line with the Africa CDC’s mission”.

In her remarks, the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Maneo Ntene said the endorsement and launching of the validated Emergency, Preparedness, and Response  Flagship Initiative Roadmap by stakeholders marks the beginning of the implementation of activities.

She appreciated the support from partners and emphasized the need for multi-sectoral collaboration to achieve health security in Lesotho.

“We thank the partners who contributed to the success of the implementation plan. We solicit the commitment of partners and relevant sectors to mainstream the activities in the roadmap to their plans”.

The launch was attended by stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Information, and representatives from the Office of the Prime.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Lesotho.

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