As part of its continued support to improve data management within the context of COVID-19 including the health system as a whole, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has handed over 76 tablets to the Ministry of Health. The acting WHO Representative for Seychelles Dr. Susan Tembo handed over the tablets to the Minister of Health, Honourable Peggy Vidot in a ceremony at the Seychelles Hospital, on 27th December 2021.
“COVID-19 may have brought many challenges upon us which we continue to deal with, but it has also provided us with many opportunities. For one, the pandemic presents an opportunity 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” Dr. Tembo said addressing senior Ministry of Health’s official present at the ceremony. The WRai thanked the government for its leadership in the sustainment of the COVID-19 preparedness and response over the past 2 years, without which she said the pandemic would have spiralled out of control.
In accepting the donation, Honourable Minister of Health Peggy Vidot highlighted “One thing that COVID-19 has taught us is the importance of information communication and technology in health. The importance of how we use ICT to better mount a response and to better deliver on healthcare. In Seychelles we continue to use ICT to improve our response, improve our surveillance, contact tracing, data gathering and reporting, all which are key to guide prompt decision being undertaken by those of us in leadership”. Honourable Vidot thanks WHO for the support and said the tablets will certainly benefit the country especially now as the world continues to deal with new COVID-19 variants and is taking further steps to roll out its next phase of COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
The donation of the tablets follows a first consignment of 28 laptops computers which the WHO handed over to the Ministry of Health in 2020 to support triage at different health facilities in the country. This latest delivery of tablets will further support decentralisation services undertaken routinely by the Infection Prevention and Control programme, Public Health Services and National Health Accounts team.
In concluding her address, Dr. Susan Tembo reiterated WHO’s continued commitment to support the country to implement other evidenced based interventions until the pandemic is brought under control “It is not yet over until it is over everywhere” she concluded.
To note, Seychelles reported its first case of COVID-19 on 14th March 2020, confirming community transmission in December 2020. As of 27th December 2021, the country has recorded 24,451 cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases with 365 active cases. Unfortunately, 126 people have lost their lives due to the pandemic. The country started COVID-19 vaccination in January 2021, with seventy-nine (79%) percent of the total population having received two doses of vaccine so far. Seychelles has also started vaccinating its adolescent population aged 12 to 17 years with 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, as well as administering a third dose to the adult population.