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Volume 28, Supplement—December 2022

Using Population Mobility Patterns to Adapt COVID-19 Response Strategies in 3 East Africa Countries

Rebecca D. MerrillComments to Author , Fadhili Kilamile, Mwabi White, Daniel Eurien, Kanan Mehta, Joseph Ojwang, Marianne Laurent-Comlan, Peter Ahabwe Babigumira, Lydia Nakiire, Alexandra Boos, Wangeci Gatei, Julie R. Harris, Alain Magazani, Felix Ocom, Robert Ssekubugu, Godfrey Kigozi, Florent Senyana, Francis B. Iyese, Peter James Elyanu, Sarah Ward, Issa Makumbi, Allan Muruta, Elvira McIntyre, Khalid Massa, Alex R. Ario, Harriet Mayinja, Kakulu Remidius, and Dede N. Ndungi
Author affiliations: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (R.D. Merrill, K. Mehta, J. Ojwang, W. Gatei, J.R. Harris, S. Ward); Tanzania Ministry of Health, Dodoma, Tanzania (F. Kilamile, K. Massa, K. Remidius); Democratic Republic of the Congo Ministry of Health, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (M. White, F.B. Iyese, D.N. Ndungi); Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Uganda, Kampala, Uganda (D. Eurien, P.J. Elyanu); Bizzell Group, Kinshasa (M. Laurent-Comlan, F. Senyana); Infectious Diseases Institute, Kampala (P.A. Babigumira, L. Nakiire); Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (A. Boos, E. McIntyre); US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (W. Gatei); African Field Epidemiology Network, Kinshasa (A. Magazani); Uganda Ministry of Health, Kampala (F. Ocum, I. Makumbi, A. Muruta, H. Mayinja); Rakai Health Sciences Program, Kalisizo, Uganda (R. Ssekubugu, G. Kigozi); National Public Health Institute, Kampala (A.R. Ario)

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Table 4

Comparison of 3 countries’ preparation phase decisions for conducting PopCAB to inform COVID-19 response measures, May 2020–March 2022*

Component Similarities Differences
Implementation lead
National MOH, Port Health, epidemiology
The Uganda team included many partners, whereas the other countries had teams predominantly or solely composed of MOH staff.
Team members
All countries invited national and district level MOH staff with a variety of expertise, e.g., surveillance, and emergency operations, to support implementation
All teams implemented PopCAB to strengthen public health and border health systems and resource allocation
While DRC kept the objectives broader, with an interest in informing border health strategies, Uganda and Tanzania included more specific objectives, e.g., inform lockdown measures (Uganda) or explore cross-border animal movement (Tanzania)
Priority geographic areas
Border regions and urban areas visited by cross-border travelers
DRC focused specifically on POE and urban areas, while Tanzania and Uganda focused on administrative jurisdictions, e.g., county, district.
Priority population groups
Cross-border mobile populations
Uganda focused some activities on populations seeking traditional and formal healthcare support across a border. Tanzania focused some activities on populations that live mobile lives, e.g., pastoralists.
First implemented for COVID-19 response All countries started implementing PopCAB for COVID-19 in 2020 While DRC focused on integrating PopCAB events throughout the pandemic, Uganda and Tanzania implemented intensive PopCAB initiatives at specific times and in specific areas

*CDC, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; MOH, ministry of health; PopCAB, Population Connectivity Across Borders.

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Page created: October 19, 2022
Page updated: December 11, 2022
Page reviewed: December 11, 2022
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