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Health Surveillance System- Strategic plan to improve health surveillance to be developed

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said a strategic plan will be developed to address shortcomings in data collection for diseases and outbreaks locally.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony (Photo: DPI)

The ministry of health in collaboration with the Pan American Health organisation today hosted a National Health Surveillance Symposium.

The three-day symposium will focus on improving and strengthening of the data collecting system paving the way for a more reliable and responsive system.

"What we are looking to do over the next couple of days is to build a stronger system, a more responsive system. A system that when we collect data we are able to do analyst so that we can then respond".

During the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic the government acknowledged gaps in the data collection system.

One of the major short coming is that data was not properly compiled.

"We are also going to work on integration so for a patient when they comes to the hospital they will probably have a smart card, they'll give the personal there and they'll pull up your information".

Dr. Frank Anthony noted that these gaps existed not only with infection diseases but also in monitoring systems for non-communicable diseases.

"When we look at the information that we have in the cancer registry, its dated. That's because there's no real time collection of information. There's a delay sometimes by months, sometimes by years and because of that our registry is not able to give us accurate information"

He added that the implementations of the electronic record system will address some of these challenges.

At this symposium consultations with local health care workers will help develop a strategic plan for an improved data collection system.

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