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  • The Government has allocated $6.8 million to a project to strengthen the country’s national surveillance systems and establish an institutional coordination mechanism to respond to vector borne diseases as well as prepare for the threat of the Ebola virus.
  • Along with a National Preparedness Plan and Road Map to be developed under the project this year, there will also be a public education campaign to sensitise the public about the diseases, symptoms and associated risk factors.
  • The project is funded through a grant by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The Government has allocated $6.8 million to a project to strengthen the country’s national surveillance systems and establish an institutional coordination mechanism to respond to vector borne diseases as well as prepare for the threat of the Ebola virus.

This is contained in the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure, tabled in the House of Representatives on April 14 by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw.

The project, titled ‘Institutional Strengthening to Improve National Surveillance, Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases’, was started in December 2014 and will run to June 2016.

It further aims to develop strategies and implement specific actions to prepare for the potential threat of Ebola and control chikungunya virus (CHIKV) outbreak.

Along with a National Preparedness Plan and Road Map to be developed under the project this year, there will also be a public education campaign to sensitise the public about the diseases, symptoms and associated risk factors.

Achievements through the initiative up to December 2015 included: the development of a National Integrated Vector Control Plan; the procurement of audiovisual equipment, computer hardware and accessories; the training of 419 health care workers from 20 hospitals in infection prevention and control; and the procurement and distribution of protective gear, equipment and material, including suits and masks, for infection prevention and control and vector control.

Additionally, 30 Environmental Health Officers, Community Health Aides and Communications Officers were trained in communication for behavioural change interventions. Forty-five Senior Ministry of Health Directors were also trained in communication skills and provided with capacity building workshops.

The project is funded through a grant by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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