Friday, August 22, 2014

 The East African Community (EAC) is preparing a meeting to address the emerging global threat of Ebola virus, the EAC deputy secretary general (Planning and Investments), Dr Enos Bukuku, said yesterday.
The deadly communicable disease with a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent has so far reportedly claimed 1,000-plus lives in West African countries.
Dr Bukuku told the visiting Zanzibar President, Dr Ali Mohammed Shein, that the extraordinary meeting would involve officials from ministries of Health and Social Welfare as well as Transport and Aviation from across the EAC partner states.
Dr Shein was in Arusha yesterday morning to open the 12th Scientific Congress of the Association of Pathologists of East, Central and Southern Africa which the EAC is hosting at its headquarters.
Dr Bukuku said Article 118 of the Treaty establishing the EAC provided for cooperation in health, social and cultural activities in the region.
He said EAC partner states, as a result, cooperated in taking joint action towards management, prevention and control of communicable diseases, development of a common drug policy, and harmonisation of drug procedures in a bid to achieve good control of pharmaceutical standards.
He added that the bloc was also cooperating in the harmonisation of health policies and regulations, the exchange of information on health issues, and in the cooperation and promotion of research.
“Laboratories are workplaces of pathologists and scientists; it is as a kitchen is to a hotel or food industry, for without a laboratory there is no correct treatment and the result is either death or continuous suffering,” Dr Bukuku said.
Meanwhile, SD Africa Limited donated Sh30 million worth of 360 Hepatitis B and C kits to Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar governments during the conference.
Dr Shein received the kits on behalf of both governments shortly before officiating at the congress.
The gadgets, according to the Health and Social welfare minister, Dr Seif Rashid, are essential in the testing of increasing cases of cancer in the country.

The SD Africa Standard Diagnostic Africa representative, Mr Phillip Sawe, said the rapid test kits manufactured in South Korea were effective in high risk areas such as Tanzania. 

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