In Events Posted

Self-management practices promoted on World Diabetes Day

13th November 2017 – To commemorate the world wide occurrence of Diabetes Day 2017, on Tuesday 14th November 2017, the Ministry of Health is hosting a half day forum between 8.30 am and 12.30p, at the Sheikh Kalifah Diagnostic Centre.

The aim of the activity is to explore appropriate diabetes self-management skills and practices amongst people living with diabetes. Both patients and doctors will discuss their views in a shared panel discussion, to inform many of the various materials being developed for self-management in diabetes.

Additionally, two new tools for people living with diabetes will be introduced and discussed. These include a booklet titled ‘Mon Dyabet, Mon Responsibility’, outlining self-care practices that can be employed at home and a trial of a ‘passport’ for patients to record each and every aspect of managing their disease.

World Diabetes Day is commemorated annually on 14th November. Although, this year’s theme ‘Women and diabetes – Our Right to a health future’ places a special focus on women’s experience with the disease, the Ministry of Health aims to educate everyone on adequate self-management skills in line with previous campaigns started throughout the year.

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In Events Posted

Seychelles Family Hospital inaugurated by President Faure

13th November 2017 – Mr Danny Faure, President of the Republic of Seychelles will unveil the plaque of the Seychelles Family Hospital in Perseverance 1, officially opening the facility to the public, on Thursday 16th November 2017.

This will take place in a ceremony at the hospital at 3pm.

In attendance will be the Vice President, Speaker of the National Assembly, President of Appeal, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Two Leader in the National Assembly, Minister and High Official in the Government and several other management staff from the Ministry.

The Family Hospital was sponsored by the Sheikh Kalifah Bin Zayed Al Nayan Foundation and was officially handed over to the Ministry of Health on 9th August 2017. Operations have already begun at the facility, since the final patients moved at the end of October.

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In Events Posted

Ministry of Health hosts discussion on new scheme of service with NARS

13th November 2017 – The Minister for Health met with the Nurses Association Republic of Seychelles (NARS) on Thursday 9th November 2017, to further discuss terms of the proposed scheme of service for nurses and midwives.

Opening the meeting, Minister Adam expressed appreciation of the Association for working with the Ministry of Health to give appropriate recognition to the nurses and midwives who are the bedrock of the health system through their submissions in July 2017.

“There are several advantages that are already planned in the budget 2018,” Minister Adam said. “We want to continue to discuss with the nurses association and take them forward in future.”

This feeling of partnership was also affirmed by the Chairperson of the association, Mrs Rosie Bistoquet who thanked the Ministry for taking the discussion further by inviting them to once more discuss the proposals. “We get to discuss the scheme and the weakness that we’ve picked out, in the common interest of advancing the nursing profession,” Mrs Bistoquet said.

The new scheme of service for nurses is part of an already proposed revision for all health workers. This is being phased over the next two years. In 2018, the first phase for Nurses, Midwives and Health care assistants will be rolled out. For nurses, the main improvements for 2018, include a SCR 3,000 retention allowance.

Minister Adam clarified that the intention is to have the allowance incorporated within the basic pay for nurses. “This step is to be done as an allowance until the assessment of nurses’ responsibilities and duties have been completed in line with work being undertaken with WHO,” Minister Adam stated.

“Providing the allowance in 2018 however means that nurses won’t have to wait until the review is complete to get an increment.”

However, the view from the opposite side of discussion insisted that this be included as part of the basic pay immediately. Though this is not yet possible according to standard human resources practices, NARS have been reassured that it will be done once the review is complete. This will be towards the end of 2018.

Other points of concern was the difficulty to get loans with a lower basic pay. Minister Adam clarified that when giving loans, banks take into consideration the whole package of nurses, including allowances which are regular and not variable in nature. The whole package include the basic salary, marketable skills allowance, inducement allowance and retention allowance.

Improvements planned for 1st January 2018, will give nurses a starting package of SCR 13,000 when their regular allowances are calculated together. Minister Adam also confirmed that nurses’ pension will also be calculated on the total of the regular pay and regular allowances.

Another advantage within the new scheme meant to take effect in 2018, is a revised gratuity system whereby nurses will receive 10% of their total salary over 5 years.

Minister Adam also highlighted several of the changes brought up in nurses meeting held over the past few weeks. These include improvements in the rates payable for un-rostered overtime and the development of a performance incentive based system to better reward good performance and ensure also a higher quality of service to the public.

Following the meeting, it was agreed that further discussions on outstanding issues relating to inducement allowances, risk allowances, and marketable skills allowances will be addressed with NARS in an agreed quarterly meeting.

 

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In Update on Plague Alert Posted

Update on Plague Alert

31st October 2017 – The Plague outbreak in Madagascar persists but is reported to be slowing down. The capital Antananarivo is the most affected area with predominantly pneumonic type. All countries in the region are on heightened surveillance and alert, and have issued travel advisory. Many other countries outside the Indian Ocean have also issued travel advisories.

Local update
  • As of Saturday 28thOctober2017, the last two people who had visited Madagascar and were under active surveillance in isolation at the military academy completed their 7 days. They were discharged home. There are currently no further persons under isolation or any form of surveillance.
  • Cruise ship season has started and between late October2017 and April 2018, there will be 68 cruise ships that will call at port Victoria. The PHA has the schedule for the season and is not only monitoring the movements of the cruise ships, but also analysing the passenger mobility.
  • Cruise ship agents have been directed to inform the cruise ship operators that no passengers or crew from Madagascar should join the ship less than seven days prior to arriving in Seychelles.
  • No ship should enter Seychelles less than 7 days after leaving Madagascar. Should this happen, the ship will be placed under quarantine in outer harbor until the 7 days have elapsed. During that time no passengers, crew or cargo may leave the ship. The PHA officers will be monitoring closely.
  • Temperature checks and medical declaration form are continued to be applied at the airport for arriving passengers to maintain vigilance.
  • The Public Health Authority (PHA) continues to emphasise the advisory to discourage people from travelling to Madagascar for the time being.
  • However, individuals from Madagascar who have spent at least 7 days outside Madagascar and have remained well may enter Seychelles and will not be placed under active surveillance at Ile Perseverance military training academy. Any person who has been in Madagascar in the last seven days will be placed in isolation as per the established procedure.
  • Hotline 141is active and people can call for information and advice.

 

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In Public Health Posted

Regional Influenza Alert

31st October 2017 – The island of Reunion has been registering an increase in influenza activity since August 2017. The peak of the epidemic was around mid to late September and has been on the decline ever since. Up to week 41, 2017, there were 42 admissions of which 33% tested positive for A(H1N1)pdm09, 44% for Influenza B and 24% A(H3N2)/A non H1N1 unfortunately, 8 influenza related deaths reported since beginning of 2017.

This however has not been registered by WHO as a regional threat as the number of cases has quickly subsided. The Seychelles authorities have been monitoring the situation nonetheless through the exchange of information through the SEGANET Indian Ocean Commission network, and the risk has been assessed as curtailed for Seychelles.

For the past two years, the influenza activity in Seychelles has been at its lowest with no significant number of cases reported and no outbreaks. For the greater part of 2017, few cases of influenza were notified and was significantly below the number of cases expected for the particular time of the year. Sentinel influenza surveillance has been at its minimal due to the few cases but has managed to identify a low circulation of Influenza B in the population. To date there is no influenza associated deaths reported.

Influenza is a viral illness which normally spread by the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. Although unpleasant, flu is rarely life-threatening. You can also catch flu by touching an infected person, for instance, shaking hands or surfaces contaminated by the virus. A person is contagious 1-2 days before getting symptoms and up to 7 days after becoming ill. This means that you can spread the influenza virus before you even know you are infected. Incubation period is from 1 to 4 days. Influenza presents with fever, a temperature of 38 degress celcius or higher and cough with or without other symptoms such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, tiredness, headache, sore throat and chest discomfort. Influenza needs to be distinguished from common cold.

Treatment of Flu is mostly symptomatic.

Individuals with flu should:

  • stay at home
  • avoid contact with other people where possible
  • keep warm and rest
  • consume plenty of liquids
  • avoid alcohol
  • stop smoking
  • make an effort to eat even if appetite is low
  • take painkillers and anti pyretics to lower temperature. Antibiotics is not recommended unless the person develops secondary bacterial infection. This usually happens in people with depressed immune system such as elderly, very young children or if the person is on medications that lowers immunity.

In view of the now diminished flu activity to below epidemic threshold in Reunion, no particular travel restriction to or from Reunion is indicated. Europe is also entering the influenza season. Anyone travelling in these areas are at increased risk of catching influenza. Therefore, take universal precaution of frequent hand washing, avoiding crowd and poorly ventilated rooms. If you do catch influenza, stay at home and refrain from mixing in crowd to prevent spread. You only need to consult a doctor if the symptoms are severe or you develop breathing difficulties and / or severe chest pain.

 

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In Events Posted

Operations commence at Family Hospital as patients move in

31st October 2017 – On Tuesday 31st October 2017, patients and staff from the Female Medical Ward of the Seychelles Hospital will relocate to the newly built Family Hospital situated on the peripheries of Perseverance.

Moving the entire ward is necessary to kick start the redevelopment plan of the Seychelles Hospital. It will include renovations, in phases, on the emptied ward as well as the others.

A total of 19 patients accompanied by their attending physicians and nurses will have moved by the end of the day.

Several provisions have been made for the patients. This ensures that there will be no interruptions to the services they are currently receiving. The Hospital will only be providing in-patient care for now and the staff will not be able to accommodate walk-in and emergency services. Management staff of the Health Care Agency has extended a reminder for members of the public to continue utilising these services from their regional health centres.

Personal visits will be from 2pm to 7pm during weekdays and 10 to 6pm during weekends. The Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) will provide daily buses services.

The Family Hospital was officially handed over to the Ministry of Health by the Sheikh Kalifah Bin Zayed Al Nayan Foundation on Wednesday 9th August 2017 and the opening of the facility is scheduled for later.

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In Events Posted

WHO donates protective gears to help in public health surveillance

27th October 2017 – The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present to the Ministry of Health, 20 different types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on Monday 30th October 2017, at 8.30 am, in a short ceremony at the Sheikh Kalifah Diagnostic Centre.

Mr Jean Paul Adam, Minister for Health, will officially accept the equipment, worth over 56 thousand Seychelles Rupees from the newly appointed WHO Liaison Officer for Seychelles, in the presence of high officials of the Ministry and WHO.

Personal protective equipment are protective items designed to protect the body from injury or infection. Several hazards are accounted for by protective equipment within the health sector. The donated items include protective clothing, goggles, face masks, and several others.

These items will be assumed by the Public Health Authority, an independent regulator of health services, health premises and health practitioners as well as the environmental and commercial activities that impact on health.

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In Update on Plague Alert Posted

Plague Alert Update

18th October 2017 – The Plague outbreak in Madagascar persists and is expanding into new areas. However, there is now a strong WHO and other partners’ support on the field that is doing active contact tracing and providing prophylaxis. About 3000 current contacts are on prophylaxis. Mauritius has reported a suspected case but the person has since been tested negative and was discharged. All countries in the region are on heightened surveillance and have issued travel advisory.

Local update

  • All samples that were sent to Institut Pasteur Paris have been tested by using the PCR technique (Polymerase Chain Reaction). This was a confirmatory test and they were all NEGATIVE.
  • All the patients who were isolated on the ward have now been discharged home, including the index case without any further risk. All admitted persons were on antibiotics, including second line.
  • They can carry on with normal life as they do not have the plague.
  • As of today all persons who were still on passive surveillance have completed their time and those who were still on antibiotics can stop. People on active surveillance
  • Last night four (4) Seychellois and one American were admitted at the Perseverance military academy. They had arrived through Mauritius from Madagascar. They are well and will remain there until 24thOctober. The American is leaving Seychelles today.
  • Three (3) other Seychellois nationals who returned via Nairobi a week ago were released to go home this morning.
  • A French national who left Madagascar on 13thOctober via Reunion will remain in the facility until tomorrow 19thof October.
  • Two (2) Australians have also been discharged today.
  • The Public Health Authority (PHA) continues to emphasise the advisory to discourage people from travelling to Madagascar for the time being. Anyone who has information that a Seychellois national is planning to travel to Madagascar should send a report to the Public Health authority or refer to CDCU.
  • 141 Hotline is active and people can call for information and advice.

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In Update on Plague Alert Posted

Update on Plague Alert

17th October 2017 – The Plague outbreak in Madagascar continues and remains uncontrolled. According to the latest report, currently, the epidemic is now circulating in 38 of the 114 districts of Madagascar. Antananarivo is the most affected city/district. By yesterday, (16th Oct 2017), 805 cases have been reported (595 pneumonic and 210 bubonic). There has been 74 deaths (9.2% of notified cases)

Training in contact tracing was conducted today for 60 health care workers, Red Cross volunteers and other key partners by two WHO experts in conjunction with DSRU.

Update of cases admitted on suspicion or for precautionary measures

A total of 12 people remain admitted in isolation in hospital.

  • The index patient (probable case) is still admitted on the hospital ward and has no symptoms and is stable. Today is the 9thday of treatment as per clinical guidelines, the patient is no longer infectious. He remains in isolation to complete his antibiotic course.
  • The other eleven (11) patients in the hospital are stable on treatment and asymptomatic. This includes the foreign national.
Contact tracing and surveillance
  • The total number of people admitted at the Perseverance military academy for active surveillance remain 6. None of them has developed any symptoms.
  • Three (3) Seychellois nationals returned from Madagascar via Nairobi on Thursday 12th. They remain well and are receiving prophylaxis and will go home if they remain asymptomatic.
  • A French national who left Madagascar on 13th October via Reunion will remain in the facility until 19thof October.
  • Two (2) Australians who arrived on Friday 13th October from Mauritius after having spent time in Madagascar will remain in active surveillance for 7 days before being released on 19thOctoberif they do not develop any symptoms.
  • A total of 577 children and 63 teachers (640) at Anse Boileau Primary School and crèche have reached 7 days after last potential contact with the admitted child. They are also off passive surveillance as of today.
  • Laboratory samples were successfully shipped on Sunday evening and received on Monday afternoon by Pasteur institute France. We are now awaiting results.
  • Should anyone who is on prophylaxis develop fever, cough or other symptoms, they should contact their health centre, the Hotline 141, Dr Jastin Bibi on 2723739 or Dr Naomi Adeline 2711818
  • Regional Health facilities (Beau Vallon, English River, Les Mamelles, Anse Boileau health centres and Anse Royale and Baie Ste Anne Hospitals) are being used to assess contact and provide prophylaxis.
  • The Public Health Authority (PHA)is reinforcing the advisory to discourage people from travelling to Madagascar for the time being. Anyone who has information that a Seychellois national is planning to travel to Madagascar should send a report to the Public Health authority or refer to CDCU.
  • Hotline 141is active and people can call for information and advice

 

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