Taking stock of lessons learnt from the Cholera outbreak response in Tanzania

Morogoro, 13-18 August 2017: The United Republic of Tanzania is battling an outbreak of Cholera that has since August 2015 affected 26,046 people and claimed 410 lives. Ending the outbreak and preventing its spread beyond Tanzania's borders is a high priority for WHO. To that end, WHO and partners support a well-coordinated multisectoral response through the National Cholera Task Force which plans, coordinates and support subnational authorities.

Indeed, learning requires a continuous assessment of performance, a review of successes and failures and a robust support for improvement. An After Action Review (AAR) is a simple methodology for facilitating this assessment. It provides for a qualitative review of actions taken to respond to an emergency as a means of identifying best practices, gaps and lessons learned.

As a component of the IHR Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (IHR MEF) and part of the preparedness and response cycle, an AAR seeks to identify what worked well or not and how these practices can be maintained, improved, institutionalized and shared with relevant stakeholders.

It is within this context that WHO supported the Ministry of Health to convene a meeting of experts to conduct an After Action Review following the national response to the cholera outbreak.

The five-day review meeting will gather emergency response experts from the Ministry of Health; Ministry of Water; President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government; WHO Health Emergencies Programme in Country, Regional and Headquarter Offices; CDC, UNICEF and Red Cross.

Preceding the AAR exercise, a 2-day planning and preparatory session is on-going to orient the National facilitators and agree on AAR trigger questions. This is critical to ensure and design a relevant AAR matching the country’s needs and expectations.