Uganda launched the Third Edition of the National Guidelines for Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response (IDSR) at Golden Tulip Hotel in Kampala. The third 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.
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.
Africa is challenged by recurrent disease outbreaks
The launch was officiated by the State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties, Hon. Anifa Bangirana Kawooya, who commended stakeholders for the support in finalizing the document but especially WHO for providing the much-needed leadership to produce the IDSR guidelines.
“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,” she said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Uganda, Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, noted that IDSR is a cost-effective public health method.
“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,” he said.
He further added that picking lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, “prompt detection and response are very critical during outbreaks”.
Dr. Yonas further committed WHO’s support to the government in implementing the IDSR guidelines.
The launch was attended by officials from various Ministries and Departments in the Government of Uganda, WHO, AFENET, Center for Disease Control, Africa CDC, Infectious Disease Institute, and the Baylor Foundation.