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APO International

Tanzania: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hand over renovated isolation unit for early detection and prevention of public health outbreaks

todayMay 27, 2024 3

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The World Health Organization (WHO) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has handed over a refurbished infectious disease isolation unit in Mutukula (a Tanzania-Uganda border community) to the Ministry of Health in the Kagera Region.

The utilization of this unit at the One-stop border point is set to facilitate screening measures on travellers at points of entry to prevent cross-border transmission of disease by detecting and prohibiting travel to exposed or ill travellers from affected areas.

“As a country bordered by neighbours, as well as being known for its influx of tourists, especially in a busy border area like Mutukula, the isolation centre comes at an opportune time to strengthen our resilience against future outbreaks,” said Dr Samwel Laizer, Kagera’s Regional Medical Officer. “Thank you to WHO and USAID. With more collaborations, we can achieve universal health coverage in Tanzania.”

Like many countries, Tanzania has been responding to different emerging and re-emerging diseases. Key amongst these was the outbreak of the Marburg virus last year which recorded six deaths. Thanks to timely interventions from the Government, WHO and partners, the virus was curtailed within 90 days. WHO has also been working with the Ministry to reinforce readiness and response to health emergencies, with teams of first responders trained in the key aspects of outbreak preparedness and response.

The presence of this standardized unit at the point of entry is imperative by the International Health Regulations (IHR) obligations and recommendations after the fight against Marburg aimed at empowering countries to prevent, prepare for, and respond to public health risks at Points of Entry (POEs).

This Mutukula isolation unit will strengthen Tanzania’s health system in detecting, preventing, and responding quickly and efficiently to public health emergencies to save lives. I want to express our gratitude to USAID, for the timely financial support. Many lives will be transformed, and communities will be well prepared for any future emergencies or outbreaks”, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, Country Representative of WHO Tanzania.

The Mutukula Isolation Unit replaced an old and dilapidated temporary tent which previously served as an isolation centre and was repurposed for the management of suspected cases. The new facility will play a key role in case management and investigation to help control community transmission.

“We are honoured to witness the completion of this life-saving isolation unit, and we congratulate the Government of Tanzania for its continued efforts to prepare the country against future outbreaks,” said Laura Chitterenden, Program Adviser for USAID/Tanzania.

This facility is one of the many interventions ongoing to ensure the strengthening of the health systems in Tanzania to accelerate the health for all agenda.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization – United Republic of Tanzania.



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