IOM, MOHCDGEC Facilitated the Review and Finalisation of SOP's on Exit and Entry Screening for COVID-19
Morogoro - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Tanzania, the United Nations (UN) Migration Agency, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children of the United Republic of Tanzania (MOHCDGEC), facilitated the review and finalization of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on exit and entry screening for COVID-19 and other Public Health Events (PHE) at the Points of Entry (POEs) in the United Republic of Tanzania.
This current technical review and finalization workshop was preceded by a previous workshop dedicated for the development of SOPs that took place from 21 to 24 September 2020.
It engaged 13 experts from Environmental Health, Epidemiology and Diseases Control, and Food, Water and Environment Sanitation sections, Emergency and Rapid Response Department, Communication Unit, Chief Pharmacist and Port Health units.
The SOPs are specifically intended for port Health and Border officials who deal with passengers/travellers at Point of Entry (PoE) and are aligned with PoE’s specific objectives of the National COVID-19 Contingency Response Plan July 2020 to June 2021 in the United Republic of Tanzania.
The workshop follows a request from MOHCDGEC and reponds to recommendations made from POEs COVID-19 prepared assessment conducted by IOM in March and April 2020. IOM as the Pillar Lead within the UN Response to COVID-19 and EVD pandemic in the United Republic of Tanzania in partnership with the Government of Tanzania, conducted a readiness and needs assessment related to COVID-19 and EVD outbreaks, focusing on strategic PoEs, health facilities in border health zones, and referral at 60 PoEs (both formal and informal) in the regions of Kigoma, Kagera, Mwanza, Mbeya/Songwe, and Zanzibar
The development and technical review of SoPs on exit and entry screening for COVID-19 and other PHEs at the POEs aims at strengthening the Surveillance at PoE’s to prevent and control possible importation and exportation of diseases and any public health risks in the United Republic of Tanzania.
Additionally, the SOPs will provide quick guidance to port health and border officials to prevent disease transmission and contamination of the working and living premises by COVID-19, as well as effectively manage suspected and/or probable COVID-19 cases and other PHEs.
Moreover, IOM with the Ministry of Health will facilitate an initial dissemination of SOPs on exit and entry screening for COVID-19 and other PHEs at PoEs to Port Health and Border Officials from strategic POEs in the country.
Furthermore, IOM, in partnership with MOHCDGEC will strengthen the capacity of the Ministry staff to detect and respond to COVID-19 cases in the strategic POEs and enhance IPC/WASH and RCCE interventions along mobility corridors in the regions of Mwanza, Mbeya, Dodoma, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Dodoma, Tanga and Dar es salaam.
Lastly, IOM will support cross-border coordination and partnership with neighboring countries.
The interventions are funded with the financial support of the Government of Denmark, under the “Danish Response to IOM Global Appeal for COVID-19”.
“Front-line officers including Port Health and Border Officers need to acquire most relevant information and practice urgent measures necessary to minimize the risk of infection and transmission of communicable diseases.” said the IOM Chief of Mission (CoM) to the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr Qasim Sufi.
IOM uses the Health, Border, and Mobility Management (HBMM) Framework to increase the local preparedness, response, and prevention of epidemics, with the current focus on COVID-19 and EVD. Based on these POEs assessment recommendations, IOM will deploy and donate protective equipment, non-touch thermometers and other response tools and equipment to the assessed Points of Entry and health facilities. The assessment will further improve level of preparedness and response at the POEs and health facilities near border zones in in the United Republic of Tanzania.
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