Last month, at the Influenza Surveillance Regional Meeting in Panama City, Panama, it was reported that Belize ranked second behind only Panama in its ability to monitor and respond to Influenza cases across the country.
The regional meeting was held in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The objectives of the meeting were to share the results and experience with influenza surveillance of each participating country, to define and analyze laboratory influenza diagnostic procedures, to identify the needs of the country to continue strengthening and development of influenza surveillance, and to prepare a plan of action including activities and funding source for Influenza strengthening.
Mr. Englebert Emmanuel, National Surveillance Officer of the Ministry of Health was pleased to report that Belize ranked second in surveillance scores among all participating regional countries. He mentioned that although the assessment showed progress, we still need to build on capacity strengthening in our lab testing and analysis.
A draft Influenza Surveillance Action Plan for Belize was developed at the meeting and partners from the CDC and COMISCA will be doing follow-up visits to Belize to review and finalize the draft plan for implementation.
The Ministry of Health is very proud of this accomplishment by our team of dedicated health care providers and is committed to work along with our regional and international partners to strengthen Influenza Surveillance.