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Early warning systems to be setup for post disaster surveillance

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is working in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) to detect any disease outbreak with the use of a mobile technology for surveillance. The mobile technology such as the ‘Early Warning Alert and Response System’ (EWARS) will collect information on epidemic-prone diseases in the form of data. […]

Department of Information

March 22, 2016 11:49 am

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is working in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) to detect any disease outbreak with the use of a mobile technology for surveillance.

The mobile technology such as the ‘Early Warning Alert and Response System’ (EWARS) will collect information on epidemic-prone diseases in the form of data.

The WHO will coordinate with the ministry to establish 35 early warning surveillance sites across Fiji to monitor for any infectious disease outbreak.

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Mr Jone Usamate said that this system will no doubt benefit the Ministry in addressing and responding effectively to any surge in diseases.

We are grateful to the support received from WHO and our partners during this critical time. I also urge our people to clean up their surroundings and destroy mosquito breeding places and practice good hygiene.

The mobile technology collects information from all 35 surveillance sites and rapidly analyzes the data to detect unusual increases in disease. It then sends alerts to medical officers and public health staff to warn of potential disease outbreaks.  The ministry has rapid response teams to investigate alerts generated by the early warning system.

Medical Officer in charge at the Keiyasi Health Centre in the Western Division, Dr Avnit Kumar said it is a very good reporting system where data collected on a certain illness in a particular area gives early warning systems such as detection of diarrhea cases after natural disasters.

The data collected from surveillance teams will assist in early detection of a particular illness or disease and prompt early interventions.

The risk of outbreaks has been high since the powerful cyclone battered the Pacific Island nation Early-warning surveillance is a priority for the ministry and WHO and an essential tool to protect the public from communicable diseases.

Dr Liu Yunguo, WHO Representative in Fiji said that responding effectively to an outbreak depends on detecting them as early as possible, so public health authorities can act quickly to contain the spread of disease.

Using mobile technology will help health facilities report illnesses and events faster, resulting in earlier investigations into their cause and a quicker response – ultimately helping authorities reduce the risk of outbreaks following this disaster.

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