"The training of trainers (ToT) programme targeting border posts staff on COVID-19 preparedness and response was very beneficial." This is the testimony of participants of a 2-day training in September 2020 when they met a delegation of German officials at Namanga on the Kenya and Tanzania border over a year later on 15 November 2021.
The visiting officials included Claudia Imwolde-Kraemer, Senior Desk Officer for EAC at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Johannes Sperrfechter, Head of Development Cooperation with EAC at the German Embassy Tanzania, Godje Bialluch, GIZ Cluster Coordinator EAC cooperation as well as Jennifer Wörl and Dr. Ralf Orlik, KfW Development Bank. They talked to beneficiaries of the ToT that aimed at enhancing the capacity of staff for infection prevention and for communicating COVID-related risks to travellers.
“We did a lot of capacity building. In addition to passing the knowledge to colleagues, we also trained other people. We have organized meetings with subcounty teams and VHTs (village health teams) and trained them,” Frank Okwema, mobile laboratory worker stationed at Namanga noted. Peter Ndichu, Immigration Officer at Namanga One Stop Border Post (OSBP) added, “We handle travellers and receive cash for visas. This exposes us to COVID-19. We use the knowledge from the training to guide colleagues and travellers on how they can protect themselves and others.”
The EAC Secretariat with support from the German Government through the GIZ Pandemic Preparedness (PanPrep) project conducted the training. A total of 375 staff were trained at 12 OSBPs and four harbours in the EAC region.
The delegation also visited handwashing facilities which are part of a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) project implemented by the EAC Secretariat and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The PanPrep-funded programme, is also conducting risk and crisis communication and community awareness measures on infection prevention control.