CDC in the US lends support to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 surveillance unit
– Case trainers to be trained for each region – Chief Medical Officer
Kaieteur News – Guyana is about to receive a boost in its ability to track cases of the deadly Coronavirus / COVID-19 disease. Supported by a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Narine Singh, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) surveillance unit will be able to train people to work specifically. such as COVID-19 case trackers or link tracking.
The Chief Medical Officer noted that this is an important element in the fight against the spread of the deadly disease as it will help the Ministry to keep tabs on the activities of infected people to prevent them from spreading the disease further.
Dr. Singh “in other words, the more case trackers we have, the better we will be able to monitor the infected people and possibly control the spread of the virus through follow-up calls, checks and so on.” The Chief Medical Officer said the initiative was part of the support project for the US health department. He explained that the CDC had signed a cooperative agreement with the Ministry of Health to help improve its fight against the deadly disease.
As a result, Dr. Singh said that the Ministry had received funding from the CDC to assist with its COVID-19 emergency response activities, since COVID-19 was declared a health emergency worldwide.
According to the Chief Medical Officer, the CDC has pledged to support a number of activities in Guyana to support acceleration, planning and operational readiness for COVID-19 readiness and response.
The CDC, he said, plans to allocate part of the funding to cover the provision of case tracker services.
According to the Chief Medical Officer, vacancies exist for COVID-19 case trackers to operate in the 10 administrative districts. He noted that five case trackers are currently in training. The case trackers will be trained to boost capacity in each region.
Currently, case trackers are required for One, Seven, Eight, Nine and 10.
Since the inception of the global pandemic, international health organizations have been pressing for the implementation of case tracker initiatives as a more effective means of addressing COVID-19 issues in the Regions of America – of which Guyana is included.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Institute of Health (PAHO) had both declared case tracking as an effective disease management strategy to identify outbreaks and their contacts to work with then to interrupt disease transmission.
According to the two global health agencies, by definition, case tracking involves the process that prevents further transmission of the disease by separating people who have (or may have) an infectious disease from people who haven’t, includes asking for isolation cases and connections to home quarantine on a voluntary basis.
In August last year, a case for case tracking was submitted to the local Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) – the committee directly responsible for COVID-19 testing and monitoring, across the 10 administrative regions.
The HEOC noted, however, that while the committee agreed with the recommendations for increased follow-up surveillance, specifically tracking cases of coronavirus, the initiative needed more personnel; a resource that was not readily available at the time.