Effective infectious disease surveillance necessitates that physicians send samples to competent laboratories for confirmation of their diagnoses and that they report the findings through the public health system, according to Ministry of Health.
In the same vein, government has heightened internal monitoring systems of patients and health events from the grassroots level in addition to screenings at ports of entry and border posts.
Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ummy Mwalimu said the purpose was to protect the lives of the citizens at any cost.
“We’re monitoring at the community level, health facilities and other areas across surface and water territories,” she said.
The minister was responding to a question from Special Seats MP Mgeni Kadika (CUF). The lawmaker had initially claimed that there are so many diseases in the world that use different methods of diagnosis apart from screening gadgets commonly used at airports and ports.
What other actions are the government taking to protect its citizens? She queried . In her written response, the minister said the monitoring system includes use of mobile applications in reporting health and diseases as they occur across all healthcare service centres.
The minister went on to explain that the operational costs of running the system, is billed by the Ministry of Health. This allows healthcare providers to send and receive instant messages without being charged.
Mwalimu emphasised that the ministry monitoring system including rumors of diseases and health events at community levels. The reason, according to the minister is that not all health and diseases information gets to health centres.
“We engage the community through a toll free help line ... the ministry’s number allows the member of the community to inform the ministry or the health centre for unusual medical, health event in the community,” she said.
The public health officers have also been directed to also make follow-ups of such allegations or information published in social and mainstream media to allow the government take necessary actions.
“Some of the methods used to identify these patients are as well as physical examination, observation, interrogation asking them about their health history to determine they are/was at risk of getting infected,” she said. Adding, “body temperature sensing, examining samples to confirm infections as well as using a computerised tomography (CT) scan are among the methods.”
Mwalimu insisted the methods are used worldwide for monitoring and diagnosing patients on various epidemics.