Uganda launches national guidelines for integrated diseases surveillance and response

UGANDA – Uganda has launched the Third Edition of the National Guidelines for Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response (IDSR). The edition highlights new methods of disease detection, reporting, and provision of real-time surveillance data using new technologies and platforms.

The platforms include event-based disease surveillance, community-based surveillance, one health approach, cross-border surveillance, and electronic IDSR to improve disease surveillance in Uganda at all levels.

State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties, Anifa Bangirana Kawooya said, “We are working in tricky times when a disease in one country can easily cross to another, therefore with these guidelines in place, we should equip our systems to detect and respond to diseases effectively.”

The third edition of the IDSR guidelines is meant to upgrade the existing standards of the national disease surveillance system. It seeks to sustain the gains and progress made towards achieving an efficient surveillance system. The launch also looked at strengthening the commitment of stakeholders to IDSR and enhance ownership of the strategy for prevention and control of diseases and events.

A national rollout plan will also be implemented and will incorporate the national agenda for establishing the core capacity requirements for the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and Uganda’s contribution to Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) especially in containing the different public health events.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Uganda, Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam said, “Africa is challenged by recurrent disease outbreaks. These guidelines provide an opportunity to build resilient systems and contribute to attaining the SDGs. COVID-19 has taught us enough about building resilience and preparation for disease outbreaks and we ought to do that.”

In a country of about 48 million people, it is estimated that roughly 2% of Ugandans have received their first or second dose of the COVID‑19 vaccine. As of early August, a little more than 1.2 million doses of the vaccine had been administered in Uganda. So far, 1,697,748 doses have been administered.

Uganda is one of 16 countries in Africa that has recorded more than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases having reported about 122,083 cases with 3,123 fatalities. Even so, the nation has achieved major heights in combating the pandemic having seen an outrageous surge of infections a few months back.

 

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