Improving public health surveillance and response

Timely information and appropriate response are vital for preventing and effective control of public health events, outbreaks, and pandemics. As a core requirement of the international health regulations (IHR (2005), countries continue to invest in building and maintaining robust surveillance systems to enable timely detection and public health response for enhanced national and international public health security.

The South Sudan Ministry of Health, with support from WHO and partners has since 2006 invested in the implementation of integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR) strategy to control and prevent priority diseases and attain the other IHR (2005) core capacity requirements.

As part of these efforts, the Ministry of Health supported by WHO and partners has completed a 5-day training of trainer’s workshop that trained a pool of 40 national master trainers on the updated IDSR third edition technical guidelines and training materials. The master trainers will then facilitate the cascade rollout of the third edition IDSR to the county level. The trainings are expected to enhance the implementation of IDSR core functions at the community, health facility, county, state, and national level.

“Late and incomplete reporting limits the amount of actionable public health data available to the Ministry of Health”, said Dr John Rumunu, Director General for Preventive Health Services at the Ministry of Health. “The rollout of the IDSR Third Edition to the counties will enable health facilities and counties to collect data and report for identifying public health events and facilitate required follow up by the Ministry of Health to easily analyze which health facilities are reporting and identify public health events and facilities requiring follow-up.”

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