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New diseases not identified soon enough for remedies to be taken, says Unimas don

on 16 Disember 2011.

KUCHING: There is a need to develop an early surveillance system to keep the outbreaks of diseases at bay.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Tan Sri Professor Dr Mohd Taha Ariff said this was important as many emerging diseases were not identified soon enough for further action to be taken.

“Most of the outbreaks were identified only after they have reached major proportions.

“So, there is a need to develop a sentinel surveillance as well as inter-country surveillance infor- mation systems. At the same time, there is also a need to update the list of notifiable diseases,” he said in his keynote lecture entitled “Responding to Health Crisis from Infectious Diseases Outbreak” at the second International Symposium on Zoonoses and Emerging Infectious Diseases at Unimas yesterday.

Taha is a former director of the Health Ministry’s Disease Control Division.

He said there was also a need to set up an outbreak preparedness plan to counter the next impending outbreak.

“We need to develop strategies to address the outbreak at pre-crisis, crisis and post-crisis levels.

“At the same time, the laboratory services must be improved where new and unusual organisms must be reported while cross-references are made within domestic and international levels,” he added.

During an outbreak, he said, communication also played an essential part in dealing with the crisis.

“It is important for the authority to be transparent and officers must be properly trained in disseminating information.

“Training must also be provided to strengthen public health resources and social mobilisation,” he said.

He added that there was also a need to improve networking where new findings and experiences could be shared among consultants.

Health crisis, he said, occurred due to human, animal and environmental factors, among other things.

“Lack of utilities and clean water and rural-urban migration are contributing to the crisis too. The transmission of diseases through the thriving vectors also plays a part,” he explained.

He added that the crisis had given a direct health burden on morbidity and mortality as well as psychosocial impact.

“It has also resulted in losses of income to family, community and nation.

“Politically, transboundary relationship may also be affected,” he said.

Extracted from thestar.

Arkib Berita

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Tarikh terakhir kemaskini: Khamis 28 Januari 2016.

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