As the Partner States in the East African Community (EAC) ease measures that were established to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the EAC Secretariat, assisted by GIZ, has commenced a series of ‚training of trainers‘ courses for staff at twelve One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) between the Partner States. The trainings aim at strengthening the prevention of and response to COVID-19 and other transmittable diseases. It is targeting to build capacity of staff from various sectors in line with the ‘One Health Approach’ and mainly focuses on operations at the OSBP with close contact to travelers and their luggage.
The first training was conducted at the Isebania/Sirari border post between Kenya and Tanzania on 30 September. Depending on the size of the border posts, between 16 and 32 staff members are trained as trainers in 2-day courses. Those staff members work in customs, immigration, port health, animal health, bureau of standards, security, cargo and as baggage handlers on both sides of the border as well as in the Joint Border Management Committees. Therefore, the trainings contribute to regional integration by jointly approaching and educating staff from two Partner States at the same time.
The ‚training of trainers’ approach allows for upscaling of the measure and takes the high staff turn-over rates at border posts into account. “The participants in this training will in turn train their colleagues on the skills they have acquired to further cascade the message and ensure that the busy border posts can effectively prevent the spread of COVID 19. This way, they can detect and respond to infected passengers more effectively”, explains Anthony Kihara of AMREF Flying Doctors. The Principal Customs Officer for Capacity Building at the EAC Secretariat, Stephen Analo, who coordinates the training is convinced that “all the EAC Partner States will benefit from this initiative”. The training is facilitated by the EAC-GIZ project “Support to Pandemic Preparedness in the EAC Region”, in cooperation with the EAC Secretariat and conducted by AMREF Flying Doctors.