Military and civilian delegates gathered in Kigali on Monday to discuss how best to collectively prevent, detect, and contain disease outbreaks.
The four-day seventh African Partner Outbreak Response Alliance (APORA) Key Leader Conference was co-organized by the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF); through Rwanda Military Hospital in partnership with the United States Air Forces Africa.
The Minister of Defense Maj Gen Murasira while opening the conference noted that, “No population can feel safe if there was a killer disease among them-that is why we consider any public health threat an enemy number one to our population.”
That is why we take the lead as men and women in uniform to prevent and protect the people from any disease or any outbreak, he added.
In military institution, Murasira said, we value preparedness.
He explained that the alliance draws nations together as one whether there is an outbreak or not, to plan together, prevent together and protect together.
APORA is growing network of more than 25 African nations committed to collectively prevent, detect, and contain disease outbreaks, according to a statement from the ministry of defense.
Alliance membership is open to any partner nation willing to join and contribute.
The alliance endeavors to rapidly advance all participating countries’ plans, tactics, and capabilities by establishing effective international relationships, sharing and leveraging best practices.
APORA began as a military event. But it has since brought on board civilian partner agencies. The alliance was formed in response to the Ebola outbreak which has so far claimed over 11,000 lives from 2014 to 2016.
The conference is an opportunity for Rwandans to know about existing military partnership strategies and, of course, the RDF will benefit from knowledge sharing from the different participants on how to respond more swiftly on various outbreaks at home, in the region and on the international scene, the statement said.