Over 20 nations in Kigali to discuss response to disease outbreaks

Representatives from 24 countries will today converge in Kigali where they will discuss how best they can collectively prevent, detect, and contain disease outbreaks.

The four-day meeting is being hosted by the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) through Rwanda Military Hospital, and in partnership with the United States Air Force Africa.

The 7th African Partner Outbreak Response Alliance (APORA) Key Leader Conference seeks to rapidly advance plans, tactics, and capabilities by establishing effective international relationships, sharing and leveraging best practices.

RDF Spokesman Lt Col Innocent Munyengango told The New Times yesterday that the conference will play a significant role in informing Rwandans on how best to respond swiftly to disease outbreaks.

“This is an opportunity for Rwandans to know about existing military partnership strategies and, of course, the RDF will benefit from knowledge sharing from the different participants on how to respond more swiftly on various outbreaks at home, in the region and on the international scene,” he said.

APORA was formed in response to the Ebola outbreak which claimed over 11,000 lives in Africa from 2014 to 2016.

It originally began as a military event but has since opened its attendance to include civilian partner agencies. The alliance also uses the Global Health Agenda to inform and shape their activities.

Preparedness

Late last year, the Ministry of Health and Rwanda Military Hospital held an Ebola simulation exercise (SIMEX) to ensure preparedness in case of any emergency outbreak.

The exercise, dubbed “Kumira Ebola Simulation Exercise” SIMEX, was held at the Rwanda Military Hospital in Kanombe.

The medical simulation exercise tested RDF medical service personnel and other stakeholders on the readiness and general conduct in case of an Ebola outbreak in Rwanda.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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