By Asma’u Ahmad
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has donated 22 motorcycles to the Plateau Ministry of Health to help improve health surveillance.
Mr Williams Bassey, the Plateau State Coordinator of WHO, presented the motorcycles to Dr Kuden Deyin, the State Commissioner for Health, on Monday in Jos.
Bassey said that the donation was informed by the observation of inadequate means of transportation in reviews and monthly meetings with Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNOs).
He said health surveillance systems generate data that help public health officials understand existing and emerging infectious and non-infectious diseases.
“Without a proper understanding of the health problem, it will be difficult to ameliorate the health issues and without surveillance, public health officials and the government would be stabbing blindly at health problems.
“So continuous data collection is needed to monitor new diseases that threaten global health security,” he said.
He further said that some of the major activities of surveillance is active case search, line listing and case monitoring with the sole aim of early diagnosis and treatment.
According to him, strong public health surveillance systems help health officials to accurately describe and assess the state of health problems as reliable data can improve health promotion programmes while helping policy makers and investors to allocate resources effectively.
Deyin, who received the motorcycles with reflective jackets and helmets, thanked WHO for the donation and expressed optimism that the state’s surveillance system would be greatly improved.
The commissioner said that the ministry was expecting quality data through functional surveillance to help take an informed decision that would make a positive impact on the health of the public.
Deyin cautioned the DSNOs to ensure that they use the motorcycles for health surveillance and not “personal surveillance,” adding that they must remain committed to their duties.