Zanzibar, 13-15 March 2018: Today, we are challenged by a variety of epidemics and health emergencies. A robust health system that is effective, inclusive and a well-coordinated multisectoral approach is essential to protect human and animal health; and ensure national development goals are not adversely affected by public health threats.
To this end, a workshop has been convened to develop the National Plan of Action for Health Security (NAPHS) for the Zanzibar Island. This endeavour is a continuation of the self-assessment of the IHR core capacity conducted in December 2016 and the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) conducted in April 2017 that culminated with identifying gaps and providing recommendations in the 19 technical areas.
The workshop was officiated by the representative of the Principal Secretary and Director of Preventive Services and Health Promotion of the MOH, Dr. Fadhil Abdallah. In his statement, he emphasized the importance of developing NAPHS to prevent, detect and respond to health emergencies in Zanzibar. He thanked WHO and partners for continuous support to strengthen the IHR core capacities and multi-sectoral collaboration in Zanzibar.
The WHO Liaison Officer Dr. Andemichael on his statement on behalf of WHO reminded the audience on the IHR-2005 obligations by State Parties to immediately notify any event that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern to WHO. He said, “This will enable the government and WHO to prevent, detect and respond to the event and mitigate any disastrous effect of the event to the nation and beyond. In the past decades, 60% of the outbreaks recorded in the world originated from animals; hence the need for coordination and collaboration between the Animal-Human and Environmental Health sectors for the prevention, detection and timely response to disease outbreaks”. The Liaison Officer urged the meeting participants to develop an ambitious but realistic National Plan of Action for Health Security for Zanzibar. He also reiterated WHO’s unwavering support to strengthen the IHR-Core Capacities and One-Health initiative in the islands.
The meeting brought together more than 40 participants from various Ministries, Government Agencies and Departments in Zanzibar; WHO Regional and Country Offices, Ministry of Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, FAO and CDC.
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