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Health Secur ; 19(4): 413-423, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338084


Field simulation exercises (FSXs) require substantial time, resources, and organizational experience to plan and implement and are less commonly undertaken than drills or tabletop exercises. Despite this, FSXs provide an opportunity to test the full scope of operational capacities, including coordination across sectors. From June 11 to 14, 2019, the East African Community Secretariat conducted a cross-border FSX at the Namanga One Stop Border Post between the Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania. The World Health Organization Department of Health Security Preparedness was the technical lead responsible for developing and coordinating the exercise. The purpose of the FSX was to assess and further enhance multisectoral outbreak preparedness and response in the East Africa Region, using a One Health approach. Participants included staff from the transport, police and customs, public health, animal health, and food inspection sectors. This was the first FSX of this scale, magnitude, and complexity to be conducted in East Africa for the purpose of strengthening emergency preparedness capacities. The FSX provided an opportunity for individual learning and national capacity strengthening in emergency management and response coordination. In this article, we describe lessons learned and propose recommendations relevant to FSX design, management, and organization to inform future field exercises.

Civil Defense , Disaster Planning , Africa, Eastern , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Public Health , World Health Organization
Pan Afr Med J ; 41: 174, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847712


Introduction: on 16th March 2020, Tanzania announced its first COVID-19 case. The country had already developed a 72-hour response plan and had enacted three compulsory infection prevention and control interventions. Here, we describe public compliance to Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) public health measures in Dar es Salaam during the early COVID-19 response and testing of the feasibility of an observational method. Methods: a cross sectional study was conducted between April and May 2020 in Dar es Salaam City. At that time, Dar es Salaam was the epi centre of the epidemic. Respondents were randomly selected from defined population strata (high, medium and low). Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and through observations. Results: a total of 390 subjects were interviewed, response rate was 388 (99.5%). Mean age of the respondents was 34.8 years and 168 (43.1%) had primary level education. Out of the 388 respondents, 384 (98.9%) reported to have heard about COVID-19 public health and social measures, 90.0% had heard from the television and 84.6% from the radio. Covering coughs and sneezes using a handkerchief was the most common behaviour observed among 320 (82.5%) respondents; followed by hand washing hygiene practice, 312 (80.4%) and wearing face masks, 240 (61.9%). Approximately 215 (55.4%) adhered to physical distancing guidance. Age and gender were associated with compliance to IPC measures (both, p<0.05). Conclusion: compliance to public health measures during the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic in this urban setting was encouraging. As the pandemic continues, it is critical to ensure compliance is sustained and capitalize on risk communication via television and radio.

COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Tanzania/epidemiology