Yaoundé, Cameroon –
Members of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and over 350 health experts from Cameroon and around the world attended the fourth annual International Forum on Public Health Emergency Operations Center in Yaoundé, Cameroon Nov. 9-11. The forum focused on lessons-learned from the Covid-19 pandemic and strengthening public health emergency management systems and surveillance.
Since 2015, DTRA has been working with Cameroon on efforts such as establishing a frontline epidemiology training program, constructing the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) with the CDC and renovating the National Veterinary Laboratory (LANAVET) in Yaoundé, with two other LANAVET renovations currently being worked on. The frontline epidemiology training program has trained over 1,000 frontline participants and is expanding to include other Central African participants in future cohorts. The PHEOC that DTRA constructed was turned over to Cameroon officially in May 2020 and it has taken the lead on COVID-19 surveillance and reporting. Through this partnership, Cameroon has been empowered with world-class training and the tools necessary to combat deadly diseases and virus outbreaks while protecting their population.
DTRA held two trainings on incident management systems, one being a foundational course for operational participants and the second was an executive course for decision makers.
In her remarks from the forum, DTRA Biological Threat Cameroon Country Manager Hayley Aron highlighted the strength and importance of the partnership with Cameroon.
“Together, we build capabilities and create effective networks that enable reporting of biological threats. International partner success is success for global health and for the protection of all the African people” she said.
The forum has reflected the strong partnership between DTRA and Cameroon and has shown that country is better prepared to respond and handle public health emergency responses.
For more information on DTRA’s programs in Cameroon and other regions, visit www.dtra.mil.