IOM Supports Guinea-Bissau Government in Emergency Health Surveillance

Published Date: 
Fri, 02/07/2020 - 01:30
Country: 
Guinea-Bissau

Bissau – Globally, more than 20,000 cases and more than 500 deaths linked to the novel Coronavirus have been reported. Although there have been no verified infections of the novel Coronavirus in Africa to date, control and prevention measures have already been adopted in Guinea-Bissau.

On January 30th, 2020, the General Directorate of Epidemiology of Guinea-Bissau, with the support of IOM, initiated the monitoring of travelers at Osvaldo Vieira International Airport, Guinea-Bissau’s only international airport.

IOM also provided border officials with tablets equipped with a surveillance application developped by IOM to collect data and help screen for suspected cases.

For Dr. Salomão Crima, Director General of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance of Guinea-Bissau, “health surveillance technicians are familiar and prepared to act”.

For countries with vulnerable health systems such as Guinea-Bissau, control and prevention are extremely important and necessary steps to contain any spread of any epidemic. Since Coronavirus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization on February 3, 2020, IOM plans to work closely with the Ministry of Health in Guinea Bissau to support and train border control and health teams with technical and practical preparation.

Since September 2019, IOM works with the General Directorate of Epidemiology to strengthen the control and prevention of potentially epidemic diseases on land, sea and air borders. The partnership includes training border staff on surveillance and health emergency protocols, as well as provision of tools for detection and prevention purposes.

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221786206213, Email: fkim@iom.int.