Victoria, Seychelles, 10th October 2017 - A one day training aimed at improving the capacity of health care workers and volunteers on contact tracing has taken place at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Health on Tuesday 17th October 2017.
Two WHO experts currently in the country Dr. Emmanuel Musa and Dr. Daniel Langat facilitated the training in collaboration with representatives of the Diseases Surveillance and Response Unit of the Ministry of Health Dr. Jastin Bibi and Dr. Winnie Low Wah.
It was the Minister of Health Honorable Jean Pau Adam who officially opened the training in the presence of the WHO Liaison Officer a.i. Dr. Teniin Gakuruh, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jude Gedeon and other senior officials of the Ministry of Health and partners. A total of 65 participants from the Ministry of Health, Seychelles Police Force and volunteers from the Seychelles Red Cross attended the training.
The participants are now better equipped to detect and report on a timely manner on any person who might have been in contact with another person who may have been infected during an outbreak. This is important as in such events timely response need to happen which include close monitoring if they do not have any symptoms or immediate isolation and necessary treatment if they are sick.
With the current situation in the country, which started with one Seychellois national testing positive for pneumonic plague after dying of respiratory illness whilst in Madagascar on 27th September, and another man becoming symptomatic on arrival in Seychelles on 6th October after holidaying in Madagascar, a total of 332 primary contacts and 631 secondary contacts have been registered and followed until 19th October. The contact tracing training forms part of the bigger national preparedness and response the Ministry of Health is undertaking in collaboration with WHO to strengthen the capacity of healthcare professionals and volunteers to trace and follow up contacts, conduct timely detection and reporting of suspected cases.
The WHO is continuing to support the country to conduct other specific training to different health cadres as the country continues to prepare for any eventualities.