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Tanzania Journal of Health Research

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Emerging viral infectious disease threat: Why Tanzania is not in a safe zone

Chacha D. Mangu, Christina K. Manyama, Henry Msila, Lwitiho Sudi, Godlove Chaula, Nyanda E. Ntinginya, Issa Sabi, Leonard Maboko

Abstract


Emerging diseases are global threat towards human existence. Every country is exposed to potentially emergence of infectious diseases. Several factor such as changes in ecology, climate and human demographics play different roles in a complex mechanism contributing to the occurrence of infectious diseases. Important aspects towards control in case of outbreaks are surveillance, preparedness and early response. Tanzania should therefore take opportunity of the calm situation currently present, to prepare. Except for HIV/AIDS, Tanzania has not experienced a major public health threat. However, the question is, is the country safe from emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases? In this article we try to explore the danger of emerging infectious disease (EID) epidemics in Tanzania and the risks attached if an outbreak is to occur. The aim is to formulate recommendations to the government, responsible authorities and general population of what can be done to improve the level of EID preparedness in the country. In conclusion, it is important to strengthen the capacity of community and healthcare staffs on how to respond to potential infectious disease outbreaks. Community-based surveillance systems should be incorporated into the national systems for early detection of public health events. It is also critical to enhance one health approach to increase cross-sectoral information sharing, surveillance and interventional strategies as regards to preparedness and response to disease outbreaks.




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