Covid-19 response |28 December 2021
WHO donates computer tablets to MoH
The Ministry of Health (MoH) has received 76 computer tablets from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for data management during the Covid-19 response.
It was the WHO representative for Seychelles, Dr Susan Tembo, who officially handed over the Information Technology (IT) equipment to the Minister for Health, Peggy Vidot, in a brief ceremony held at the Seychelles Hospital yesterday morning.
Present were the principal secretary for Health, Dr Bernard Valentin; Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon; the chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange; and senior officials from both the ministry and the WHO.
Dr Tembo thanked the government, led by the Ministry of Health, for sustaining the Covid-19 preparedness and response for the past two years.
She added that since the detection of the first case in March 2020, the country has innovatively adapted and adopted several preventive and social measures to curtail the pandemic.
Previously as contribution also towards the Covid-19 preparedness and response, the WHO, in 2020, donated 28 laptop computers to the Health Care Agency to support triage at different health facilities in the country, for the transmission of data and generation of relevant reports for decision making.
Dr Tembo said that apart from the challenges, Covid-19 has also provided opportunities to strengthen the health system; among them better use of information and communication technology that will facilitate improvement and establishment of health systems for surveillance and data management.
She noted that those who fail to embrace these technological advancements risk being left behind as during this period, the health response has largely been driven by remote technology in conducting meetings, sharing reports, investigating cases and tracing contacts in using platforms on the internet among other innovations.
“As part of our continued support, I take this opportunity to hand over an additional 76 computer tablets to support Covid-19 related activities of the national health accounts, infection prevention and control programme and the Public Health Authority.
“These tablets are expected to support decentralisation services undertaken routinely by these specific programme areas, including among others conducting field surveys and surveillance activities,” said Dr Tembo, who noted that she was sure the equipment will be put to good use, especially now that capacity continues to be built within these areas of programme at sub-national level with WHO’s support.
Dr Tembo stated that WHO is committed to supporting our country to implement other evidence-based interventions until the pandemic is brought under control.
She congratulated the MoH for the stewardship and bold steps taken in addressing the associated infodemic without which the pandemic would have spiralled out of control.
She commended the country for having particularly reached an impressive vaccination coverage of close to 80% with two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, well ahead of all other countries in the region and among the very few globally to reach WHO target for all countries to vaccinate 40% of its population by end of 2021.
She said that the achievement is clear commitment, action and cooperation of the government in putting the health of its people first and foremost.
Dr Tembo remarked that although being aware that the communities, like in many other countries, are tired of the public health and social measures, the guards against the virus must not be let down and better still to sustain the momentum to remain resilient, focused and determined to see this pandemic put under control.
In accepting the donation, Minister Vidot expressed the ministry’s gratefulness to WHO for the donation and for all other support given so far to the response against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Today WHO is showing us how willing it is to serve its members, in assisting us to better handle and better manage the pandemic. We are indeed very grateful and would like through you, Dr Tembo, to register our thankfulness to WHO for all the support given to us so far,” Minister Vidot said.
Minister Vidot stated that the pandemic has forced the country to build up resilience of its health system to not only meet the needs of Covid-19 but also the needs of the population with other health issues during a period when many of our resources are being channelled to Covid-19.
She noted that the MoH has been for some time using technology to improve surveillance, contact tracing, data gathering and reporting, especially made available to those in leadership for timely and prompt decision-making and the tablets will help in that direction among other uses such as the vaccination roll-out to get all Seychellois to be fully vaccinated.