New body to enhance EAC health sector cooperation

The East African Community has launched a new wing under its growing activities to promote coordination of health sectors among partner states
Eriyo (R) addresses the EAC participants at the launch of EAHP as Dr Thakker looks on. The New Times/ Timoty Kisambira.
Eriyo (R) addresses the EAC participants at the launch of EAHP as Dr Thakker looks on. The New Times/ Timoty Kisambira.

The East African Community has launched a new wing under its growing activities to promote coordination of health sectors among partner states

The new organ, the East African Health Platform (EAHP), was launched in Kigali, on Tuesday, with a call on governments to cooperate for the benefit of the community.

The body will ensure harmonised policies and legislation aligned to the health sector in the region, according to officials.

EAHP is driven by private sector and civil society generally made up of health and pharmaceutical experts from the partner states.

While launching the platform, EAC Deputy Secretary-Seneral Jessica Eriyo said the initiative would uplift the lives of regional citizens.

“With the platform, we need a healthy and productive population which enjoys quality and affordable healthcare within the region. It’s not only in harmony with the EAC health strategy but also strategically aligned to the current East Africa development strategy,” she said.

Eriyo called for collaboration between governments and private sector to support the initiative.

How it will work


Eriyo said there is a need for more awareness campaigns at the grassroots level because 70 per cent of diseases that hamper the region are preventable.

Under EAHP, all the regional health experts will be able to identify the challenges and loopholes and get a common approach on how to improve the well-being of folks.

“We are going to look at ways to collectively address challenges hindering the sector by sharing information and on time,” said Dr Amit Thakker, the EAHP chairperson.

He condemned regional leaders for not meeting the Abuja Declaration that requires  that  15 per cent of national budget be allocated to the health sector. Only Rwanda has fulfilled this obligation.

Dr Gerald Ngendahimana, a member of the committee and the general manager of the Polyclinique des 3 Ages in Kigali, pointed out that Rwandans should expect much from the platform, saying local healthcare experts would be gaining experience from their counterparts in the region.

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