Pandemic preparedness and prevention in the East African Community

Support to Pandemic Preparedness in the East African Communtity (EAC) Region

Six inspectors in high-visibility vests and overalls during a simulation exercise organised by Kenya and Tanzania.


The East African Community (EAC) region is disproportionately affected by outbreaks of diseases associated with dangerous pathogens. Rift Valley fever, Marburg fever, dengue fever, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and yellow fever viruses, to name but a few, are endemic and pose a threat to public health with their recurring outbreaks.

The Ebola epidemic from 2014 to 2016 in West Africa and the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed that many sub-Saharan countries lack the resources to respond quickly, effectively and across borders to outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The countries of the East African Community are considered to be at risk due to the fragility of their healthcare systems and the large number of naturally occurring viruses and bacteria with pandemic potential.


The spread of dangerous infectious diseases is prevented because the Secretariat of the East African Community and its partner countries are able to respond more quickly and effectively to outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases and epidemics.

A person holds a goat while a vet takes a blood sample for examination.


The project supports the EAC Secretariat in setting up a communication and warning system tailored to the target groups. It also creates joint structures and processes for a rapidly deployable pool of experts in the East African region.

It also promotes structural cooperation between different disciplines in line with the One Health approach. Cooperation of this kind is especially important, as around two thirds of infectious diseases with the potential to take on epidemic proportions are zoonoses, infectious diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans.

In this context, the project also supports the EAC Secretariat in improving the quality of inspections conducted on foods of animal origin at border crossings within the economic community.

Last update: November 2023

Participants at a regional conference on improving risk communication in the East African Union.

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