EAC SECRETARIAT HANDS OVER MOBILE LABORATORIES TO THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 13th July, 2020: The Republic of Uganda on 9th June, 2020 in Kampala, received two mobile laboratories from the East African Community Secretariat as part of regional efforts to contain COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
The Minister of Health in Uganda, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, received the mobile laboratories consignment on behalf of the Government of Uganda.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, the Director General of Customs and Trade at the EAC Secretariat, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, who represented the EAC Secretary General at the event said COVID-19 has proven to be a test for the EAC integration given its rate of mobility and disastrous effect on health and regional economies.
“As EAC strives to attain free movement of goods, persons, services and capital to spur economic growth and development, the pandemic becomes an enigma and a reversal of the trajectory,” said Mr. Bagamuhunda
Mr. Bagamuhunda said that the Secretariat was working with Partner States and Development Partners to mobilize various stakeholders to achieve a broad coalition in stepping up against COVID-19 in the region.
The DG informed Dr. Aceng that apart from deployment of mobile laboratories to the Partner States, the Secretariat had also developed a Regional Electronic Cargo and Drivers Tracking System that was currently being piloted in the region in addition to training Mobile Laboratory experts from Partner States on how to handle the equipment.
The DG further disclosed that the Secretariat had undertaken missions to most of the internal border points in all Partner Stars to assess the state of play, adding that there would cross-border sensitization and training on basic operational procedures for Partner States implementing agencies at One Stop Border Posts.
Mr Bagamuhunda hailed the support from the Federal Government of Germany through KfW, the German Development Bank and Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNIT).
“They have supported us in a number of sectors including Health, Trade, Customs, Agriculture, and Administration where they supported the building of the EAC headquarters. We are indeed grateful for the partnership we have had with the German Government and it’s implementing Agencies,” he said.
Image.jpeg.pdf: Uganda's Minister for Health, Dr.Jane Ruth Aceng, admires a symbolic ignition key for one of the EAC Mobile Laboratories that were handed over to her by the Director General for Customs and Trade, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda (left), in Kampala.
Notes to Editors:
The EAC Secretariat has mobilized €1.7 million for capacity strengthening and preparedness against pandemic and € 500,000 to support laboratory strengthening (training, test kits and equipment) from German Development Bank (KfW) through GIZ. Further, African Development Bank (AfDB) approved $10 million grant to EAC to aid Covid-19 response and $20 million committed by Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) to support Safe Trade in the region.
A total of 9 Mobile Laboratories were deployed to the Partner States as follows: Republic of Burundi -1, Republic of Rwanda -1, Republic of South Sudan -1, Republic of Kenya - 2, Republic of Uganda - 2, and United Republic of Tanzania - 2.
The Mobile Laboratory Project is an initiative of the EAC Secretariat and is being funded by the Republic of Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW) and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNIT).
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