Africa-Press – Mauritius. A five-day workshop focusing on Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR), was held on 01 September 2023 in presence of the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis.
In his address on the occasion, the Health Minister, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal, underlined that the recent COVID-19 pandemic and Dengue Fever epidemic have demonstrated the urgent need to strengthen Early Warning Alert and Response and disease surveillance in line with the International Health Regulations of 2005 so that potential outbreaks are contained thereby protecting the health of the nation.
The ISDR, he emphasised, is a strategy for strengthening surveillance, laboratory and response capacities at each level of the health system. The Minister pointed out that Member states of the African Region recommended that IHR 2005 is implemented within the ISDR framework ,while recalling that the Joint External Evaluation for Mauritius held in Mauritius in 2018 had identified the roll out of the Third edition of IDSR Guidelines of the African Region.
In this respect, having customised guidelines to the Mauritian context is a prerequisite, which has been catered for during this 5-day workshop, during which a set of guidelines have indeed been finalised for the first edition of the National ISDR, added the Minister.
Dr Kailesh Jagutpal underlined that the guidelines will serve as an important tool at all levels as well as for all partners of the One Health Approach with close collaboration of human health, animal health and environmental sectors.
Furthermore, the Minister informed that during the workshop, the participants were able to brainstorm on a one-year operational plan towards implementation and roll-out as well as to discuss training needs in IDSR.
As regards post-COVID 19 measures, Dr Jagutpal highlighted that his Ministry has been reinforcing the Surveillance of infectious diseases and has reviewed the States Party Assessment Annual Reporting Tool known as E-SPAR, so that 35 indicators are now analyzed for Health Surveillance and reported to the WHO via an electronic platform.
Besides, he added, the Ministry is preparing a first country level National Action Plan for Health Security to accelerate the implementation of International Health Regulations. The Workshop
Throughout this workshop on Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response, multiple stakeholders, including officers from the Health Ministry, from other ministries such as Environment, Agriculture and IT, the Indian Ocean Commission and the private sector as well as Rodrigues have been working on the elaboration of the technical guidelines for Mauritius. This workshop has been held with the support of the World Health Organisation.