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Turkana, IRC advance efforts to bolster contagious disease surveillance

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They finished a five-day assessment of health facilities that will strengthen the fight against contagious diseases along the common borders of Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

Turkana County and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have concluded a five-day cross-border health facility assessment to enhance contagious disease surveillance along the common borders of Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

The goal was to enhance the preparedness of local health facilities to manage contagious diseases, particularly those that could easily spread to neighbouring countries.

Deputy Director of Public Health Daniel Esimit said the assessment provided critical data that will help in decision-making and strategic planning for managing health across the county.

"The five-day findings will place us in a better position to achieve informed approaches to disease prevention and outbreak management," Esimi said.

Officials from the Turkana County health and veterinary departments engage members of the public during an assessment of health facilities in Turkana West on May 14, 2024. (Photo: Handout/CPS)

Turkana West Sub-county Medical Officer of Health, Joel Lochor, said insights from the assessment will help to fine-tune local health strategies along the common borders.

IRC Manager Isaac Kiroso noted that the data will help contain the spread of contagious diseases.

"The assessment will help to address complex health challenges across our 19 cross-border health facilities," he said.

He pledged continued support for capacity building and the One Health initiative, which will increase surveillance and response to both human and livestock disease outbreaks in the areas of concern.

Senior county health officials, veterinary officers, and representatives of the sub-county management team participated in the exercise conducted in the Oropoi, Nadapal, Nakururum, Nanam, Nalapatui, Loreng, and Lokipoto areas of Turkana West.

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