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Health Ministry Launches New 12 billion Disease Surveillance System

The system will be able deployed in all parts of the country and will be able to detect future epidemics in the country. As part of the new system, health workers and members of the community will be able to report suspicious diseases early which will then be monitored by epidemiologist at the command center in Kampala

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The ministry of health has launched a new disease surveillance system that can detect disease outbreaks in the country.

The system named the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) System 3, is an improvement of past IDSR systems that were monitoring outbreaks in particular districts.

Unlike in the IDSR 2 where different health systems were not linked, the new system will easily be accessible on the internet and will provide information on what illnesses medical workers are treating at health centers. 

According to ministry of health officials, the new system will enable quick and easy access in the identification or surveillance of diseases. As part of the new system, all laboratory testing hubs in the country will be able to post results which will help determine disease patterns.

Dr. Issa Makumbi, the manager of the Public Health Emergency Operations Center says the system will help make it faster to detect diseases.

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The system will focus on risk communication, training health workers on how to identify and report possible epidemics. Also, village health workers will be trained. He said IDSR is there to build our ability to surveil potential health threats that might have gone under .

The system was launched in 2018 by the World Health Organisation but was yet to be implemented by Uganda.

Dr. Yonas Woldermariam, the WHO representative in Uganda says the new system will help African continent fight and respond better to future epidemics.

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The minister of state for health general duties, Hanifa Kawooya while launching the system said the system is a great strategy to prevent and respond to public health emergencies.

The implementation of the system requires 12 billion shillings. At the moment 8.8 billion shillings has been provided by WHO and other development partners. However 3.7 billion is still needed.

Mercy Kyeng Tetuh, an epidemiologist what the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention urged government to invest in such early warning systems to stop the spread of future epidemics. 

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