Over the years, emerging infectious diseases such as yellow fever, dengue, Rift Valley fever, O'nyong'nyong, Crimean Congo, Hemorrhagic fever and the chikungunya viruses, have placed a huge burden on East African countries.

The incidence of these diseases is increasing, not just in East Africa, but in many regions of the world as well. This is due to several factors such as climate change, increasing agricultural activity and changes in the dynamics within the ecosystems. In addition, the growing movement of people and livestock across regions is contributing to the wider distribution of the vectors that transmit emerging infectious diseases.

icipe focuses on developing knowledge regarding emerging infectious diseases, as enhancing strategies for their diagnoses, prevention and treatment, which are largely lacking in the region.