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AFENET participates in Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Ministerial meeting in Uganda

The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Meeting was held from 25 – 27 October 2017 in Uganda. The GHSA is being implemented in Uganda by the Ministry of Health (MOH) with support from partners including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), US Department of Defense (DoD), US Embassy Kampala, World Health Organization (WHO), US Agency for International Development (USAID), the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and others.

The meeting was hosted by the Government of Uganda and Ministry of Health together with Ministers of Health, Agriculture, Finance and Security from all GHSA countries.

The GHSA initiative targets to reduce avoidable infectious diseases outbreaks which appeals to AFENET’s mission which is to ensure effective prevention and control of epidemics and other priority public health problems in Africa. T

he GHSA has stated 11 action packages under the three strategies of Detection, Response and Prevention. Uganda has however benefited from all the 11 including the Immunizations action packages of which AFENET supports two: The Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC), and the GHSA Immunizations project.

The Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) plays a key role to support the MOH in coordinating and implementing several activities to fulfill goals of IHR (2005) and GHSA Action Packages. Key objectives are to support public health emergency management strategies with consolidated information and systems to assist decision making, early detection of Public Health Emergencies (PHEs), analyze and monitor public health incident information and improve communication, collaboration, and coordination of health emergency responses.

Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC)

The PHEOC is charged with coordinating all emergencies of public health importance around the country. Functions of the PHEOC

  • PHEOC receives and consolidates all information/alerts and data streams from various sources like districts, media and leaders. It analyzes the information which is then submitted to the Director General/National Task Force. -
  • The District Health Information System (DHIS2) Health Alert System is operated at the PHEOC from which reports alerts, outbreaks and progresses of outbreak investigations in Uganda.
  • An electronic log of all reportable events is recorded as well as a database of subject matter experts for consultation on a disease outbreak and threats.
  • The PHEOC remains at a state of readiness 24/7 to support immediate response to public health emergencies.

Through financial and technical from the CDC and AFENET, several activities have been undertaken by the GHSA Immunizations project (1 May 2016 - 30 April 2017) in Uganda. These include:

GHSA Immunization Activity Achievement
Periodic Intensified Routine Immunizations (PIRI) in Measles high risk districts in Uganda 35 districts were identified to have EPI inequities, 15 of which,were,very high risk and prone to measles outbreaks. START model,Reaching,Every District / Reaching Every Child (RED/REC) Micro planning,and three,rounds of PIRI were conducted in 13 of the 15 high risk,districts.
  13 RED/REC micro-plans from the 13 districts were shared with the national level.
  40 other sub counties were identified and prioritized for PIRI activities
Joint Measles outbreak investigations linking epidemiological and molecular biology. Have conducted 9 joint measles outbreak investigations in seven Uganda,districts of Kamwenge (2), Kamuli (2), Mayuge, Jinja, Bugiri, Masaka and,Lwengo. Outbreaks attributed to low vaccination coverage. Endemic B3,measles genome was isolated as responsible for all the outbreaks
Regional Surveillance Training AFENET Supported the following:
  National Trainer of Trainees (TOT)
  15 TOTs were trained
  5 out 10 regional trainings have been conducted in Jinja, Mbale, Moroto, Central, Hoima and Mubende
  156 surveillance officers from district and Health sub district levels oriented on VPDs surveillance with a focus on measles, AFP, NNT and molecular biology.
Remodeling of Measles Lab at UVRI to raise it to acceptable standards for molecular biology The measles lab was upgraded,to
present a conducive and bio safe working environment
A concept note was developed for piloting to a few select districts Piloting sample transportation in the Routine Hub system