Chiefs and Directors of Health services of the EAC Partner States Armed Forces are meeting in Kigali city to draw a regional plan on how to stay relevant in their defence mission and ensure that deployed troops are healthy.
The two- day meeting which is in line with the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs, kicked off at Lemigo Hotel in Kigali this Thursday 17 February 2022.
It was officially opened by Major General Ferdinand Safari, the Director General Policy and Strategy, Rwanda Ministry of Defense (MoD).
Safari said that in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, such a forum will consider coming up with a cautious collective response especially in deployments made considering these activities can lead to import or export of a number of infectious agents.
“We believe that it is important to strengthen the epidemiological surveillance and military medical research, in order to detect early warming sign of potential health threat, for appropriate and effective mitigation measures,” Safari said.
This, Safari said, cannot happen without collaboration and sharing of health information among Partner States.
Safari said this move will be important to ensure that effects of potential health threats are minimized but also asked partner states to share resources as part of their commitment to achieving regional health goals.
The Chairman of Chiefs and Directors of Health of EAC Partner States Armed Forces, Brigadier (Dr) Achieng Obilo (also the Chief Medical Officer Kenya Defense Force) said that in the light of the pandemic, it is key for the meeting to come up with standard operation procedures (SOPs) that will guide the military operations during COVID-19.
“This is one of the important things we have to do- formulating guiding SOPs to support all EAC Partner States in terms of being able to carry out our military operations in the pandemic,” Brig. Obilo said.
The two day meeting has gathered Chiefs and Directors of Health of EAC Partner States Armed Forces from six countries- Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, and host Rwanda.
At the end of the meet, the team is expected to visit and pay homage to victims of 1994 genocide against Tutsi at Kigali Genocide Memorial Site.