Health officials meet to validate disease surveillance guidelines and interventions

Health officials in Seychelles met to validate the country’s version of the World Health Organization (WHO) Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response ( IDSR ) at a meeting workshop held on Thursday.

Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response is a comprehensive, evidence-based strategy for strengthening national surveillance and public health response systems in African countries.

Launched for the first time in 2002, this guideline covers all major diseases and events that can cause an epidemic or disaster in a country.

Seychelles, an archipelago of the Western Indian Ocean, will be the first country in Africa to adapt and adopt the third edition of these guidelines.

“We have gathered together other partners and professionals today to see if what is presented as an adaptation is adequate for Seychelles and if there are areas to redesign.

At the end of the day we would like to have a project that will be presented later and that will be called the “Seychelles-adapted guidelines for disease surveillance,” said Seychelles Chief Health Commissioner Jude Gedeon.

In order to strengthen the capacity of Member States in the region to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies as part of the Regional Strategy for Health Security and Emergencies, it is necessary to intensify and support the implementation of of the IDSR.

A revision of the second edition was needed to draw lessons from recent events that have affected the African continent, such as the Zika virus, listeria contamination, Rift Valley fever, persistent threats due to the weather phenomenon. ‘El Nino, among other problems.

Gedeon said the third edition also saw the introduction of new sections such as “Integrated Electronic Disease Surveillance and Response (e-IDSR)”, risk communication and how a country adapts to situations emergency when systems are down.

“For two weeks now, a group of WHO consultants has been working on the revision of the Generic Directive and we have adapted it to the context of Seychelles. A lot of things do not apply to us as a small country, because some types of diseases that affect us differ from those of other countries, “he said.

Mr. Gedeon explained that Seychelles added some diseases to the existing list. These include leptospirosis, cancer, diseases caused by toxins found in fish. The level of health surveillance has also changed.

As a small country, Seychelles has only three levels of surveillance: community, health facility and central.

After validation of the document, the Ministry of Health will organize a week-long training for trainers next week, which will be followed by the formation of a rapid response team.

“A group of local experts, health professionals, will be trained on how to train other people in clinics, private practices and other agencies such as the police, the DRDM and the Ministry of Health. education. They will be our eyes and ears in the community, “said Gedeon.

The Rapid Response Team will learn how to respond in an emergency.

The final version of the “Seychelles-adapted guidelines for surveillance and integrated disease interventions” is expected to be ready in the next two weeks. It will be printed in six booklets. These will be distributed in all health facilities and made available to the public. An electronic version of the document will also be available.

Source: Seychelles News Agency