8th November, 2021 (Entebbe, Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) inaugurated the regional Cross Border Health Digitalization Initiative under the EU-IGAD COVID-19 regional COVID-19 response in Entebbe, Uganda.
The meeting was opened by Dr. Ahmed Bashir the lead on digital innovations at IGAD, on behalf of the Director of Health Social Division (HSD), Madame Fathia Alwan. He welcomed all participants and highlighted the objectives of the meeting and expectations which included; To understand the digital initiatives during the COVID-19 response, create forum for discussion on proposed innovation (SORMAS) and build consensus on implementation of the digital solutions.
Mr. Atek Kagirita, the Deputy Incident Commander of the COVID-19 response Welcomed the Member states and stakeholders on behalf of the Ugandan Ministry of Health (MoH).
Mr. Jochen Schmidt on behalf of GIZ and BMZ, as the implementer highlighted the importance of Digitalization for the region and assured support on the same from IGAD partners moving forward.
The Workshop will be conducted from 9th -12th November ,2021 in Entebbe, Uganda.
The overview and the progress of the IGAD Regional Response against COVID-19 was presented to the Member states on the EU-IGAD COVID-19 response Program, with emphasis given on how the regional digitalization initiative and the IGAD regional disease surveillance platform will bring the member states together, who agree on the need for building the digital system with the required technologies, harmonizing the various digital solutions, architecture and systems integration, to support surveillance of diseases, outbreaks and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and beyond.
The meeting was attended by a total of three participants from each of the IGAD Member States from; Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (COVID-19 response), Health planning and policy and Health Information and Management Systems deemed as necessary to facilitate the discussion. Others participants included a team from Nigerian CDC to share their experience with SORMAS and team members of IGAD Secretariat.
This four-days meeting is hoped to lay the foundation for the consecutive engagements and implementation of the regional surveillance system to strengthen outbreak response and data sharing in the region.
Acknowledgement: IGAD expresses appreciation to the EU and BMZ/GIZ for funding this activity and project.