Tanzania: Govt Establishes Polio Centre

Dodoma — The Ministry of Health has established a state-of-the-art- Polio Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) in Dodoma.

The centre is designed for coordinating emergency services, deploying responders, identifying needed experts for each unique situation, and developing strategies to stop the spread of disease in the country.

Speaking during the commissioning of the centre, Permanent Secretary of the docket, Prof Abel Makubi said that the construction cost of the centre was 176m/-.

It was jointly funded by the government, Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) through eHealth.

Prof Makubi said the centre will ramp up the ministry’s efforts in fighting several epidemics, calling upon the partners to assist the government’s ambition to establish emergency operations centres in zones, especially in border regions.

He said that the current government invests considerably in surveillance projects of epidemic diseases as Tanzania faces a threat from neighboring countries like Ebola.

He said during the previous three phases of polio vaccination campaigns, more than 17 million children under 5 years were inoculated, surpassing the international vaccination target of 85 per cent.

Commenting on the area that performed below target during the previous campaign, Prof Makubi called the Regional and District Medical Officer to cooperate with other stakeholders in the coming phase of polio vaccination campaign to increase the coverage in their areas.

In his remarks, World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Tanzania’s acting country representative, Dr Zabulon Yoti commended the efforts made by the government in fighting against polio, appreciating the support received from the Ministry of Health in Tanzania.

“On behalf of the WHO, I hereby thank the government of Tanzania, Ministry of Health, and TAMISEMI for their long-term commitment and continuous support and cooperation in polio eradication efforts.” He expressed.

Dr Yoti expressed that a functioning public health Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is an effective means of coordinating partners responding to public health events and emergencies.

According to Dr Delayo Zomahoun, the GPEI coordinator in Tanzania said that the goal of establishing the EOC is to have one place to put all resources that are essential for fighting the outbreak of the pandemic.

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