Institutional Frameworks for Management of Epizoonotic Emergencies in Six Countries in the Eastern Africa Region: A Situational Analysis

  • W Bazeyo
  • R W Mayega
  • I Nabukenya
  • J Keyyu
  • S Mamuya
  • S J Tabu
  • L Senna
  • M Mohammad
  • E Rugigana
  • A Alingi
  • M Mapatano
  • J Kiguli
  • C G Orach
  • G Burnham
  • J Killewo
Keywords: Epizoonotic emergencies, institutional frameworks, capacity


Introduction: The Eastern Africa region is a hot-spot for epidemics of emerging zoonotic diseases (‘epizoonotics’). However, the region’s capacity for response to epidemics of zoonotic origin has not been documented. This paper presents a multi-country situational analysis on the institutional frameworks for management of zoonotic epidemics in the Eastern Africa region.
Methods: A multi-country assessment of 6 country teams was conducted (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, DRC and Rwanda). It involved a review of records and interviews with key informants from agencies with a stake in the management of zoonotic and disasters in general in the respective countries. Qualitative data were analyzed for key emerging themes.
Findings: There are many socio-cultural risk factors to epidemic prone zoonotic diseases in the region. Countries have varying levels of preparedness for zoonotic emergencies. All 6 countries have a framework for disaster management. However, technical response to epidemics is managed by the line sectors, with limited Inter-sectoral collaboration. Some sectors were disproportionately more prepared than others. Surveillance systems are mostly passive and inadequate for early detection. All 6 countries have built reasonable capacity to respond to avian influenza, but not other zoonotic emergencies. Most countries lack personnel at the operational levels, and veterinary public health services are ill-facilitated.
Conclusion: There is need to strengthen veterinary public health services at all levels, but with a ‘one health’ approach. There is also need to establish ‘risk-based surveillance’ hot spots for zoonotic epidemics and to build community resilience ‘epizoonotic’ diseases.

Keywords: Epizoonotic emergencies, institutional frameworks, capacity


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eISSN: 0856-8960