Two HEPR Program-supported initiatives have been featured in the recently released 2023 World Bank Trust Fund Annual Report highlighting success stories in addressing global challenges.

The first spotlights a HEPR Program-supported regional effort in East, Central and Southern Africa’s Health Community (ECSA-HC) to strengthen peer-to-peer approaches among neighboring countries for health emergency preparedness, digital surveillance, and e-learning platforms for health emergency preparedness. According to Prof. Dambisya, Director General of ECSA-HC, the catalytic support to frontline workers and policy makers is key to improving preparedness in and across countries, creating lasting impact that will long outlive the grant period in areas such as staff capacity and surveillance. In just nine months in 2022, the completeness and timeliness of priority disease reporting increased from 10 to 90 percent in Malawi, 30 to 60 percent in Rwanda, and 68 to 90 percent in Tanzania.

The other highlights a successful initiative to improve transport and safety support for COVID-19 vaccine rollout to the most remote communities in the Solomon Islands. In a unique island setting, health emergency preparedness included the purchase of ambulance-boats and marine safety equipment through a HEPR Program grant. Mr. Nixon Kolegehegna, a community leader  thanked the [Solomon Islands] Ministry of Health and Medical Services for recognizing the logistical needs of the local community with the financial allocation: “A big thank you especially to the World Bank for the funding support. Your funds have enabled the purchase of an important logistical need that now assures us that we can reach Buala hospital in time for treatment and when faced with emergency.”