Emerging Disease Surveillance and Response (ESR) in Mongolia
The Emerging Disease Surveillance and Response (ESR) unit in Mongolia works to build sustainable national systems and sufficient capacity to ensure public health security through preparedness planning, prevention, early detection and rapid response to emerging infectious diseases, including epidemic-prone diseases.
Experience in recent years indicates that public health emergencies, particularly those events caused by outbreaks of emerging diseases, occur in the Asia Pacific region on a regular basis. These health emergencies pose a serious threat to national and regional health security, and have a serious health, economic and social impact.
Strengthening health security is one of priority of WHO Country Cooperation Strategy for Mongolia 2010-2015. To confront the challenges, the ESR unit conducts its key activities within the framework of the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005) and is responsible for implementing the newly updated Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases or APSED (2010).
APSED aims to build sustainable national and regional capacity and partnerships to ensure public health security.
The national plan on Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies 2012-2016, approved by the Minister of Health, is designed to strengthen preparedness planning, prevention, early detection and rapid response to emerging diseases and other public health emergencies.
Issues and strategies
In recent years Mongolia has experienced significant outbreaks of novel infectious diseases and other outbreak-prone diseases. These outbreaks have revealed weaknesses in the public health infrastructure.
- The large herder population is at risk of zoonotic diseases from the livestock population, estimated at 55 million in 2012. In the recent years endemic zoonoses have expanded and outbreaks of emerging transboundary diseases have emerged in both animals and humans.
- Climate change and extreme weather conditions have an adverse effect on biodiversity, distribution of animals and microflora, which can lead to the emergence of zoonotic agents and create favorable conditions for disease outbreaks.
- Endemic zoonotic diseases such as brucellosis, anthrax, rabies, plague, foot and mouth diseases and tick-borne diseases create important public health problems.
- Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) was first recognized in late 2005 and subsequently identified in 2008 and 2009 among wild birds.
- The first cases of pandemic influenza (H1N1) 2009 were identified in Mongolia in early October 2009 and quickly spread to the rest of the country. As of April 2010, a total of 1 384 confirmed cases and 30 deaths have been reported.
The results of the annual IHR self-assessment using IHR Core Capacity Monitoring Framework indicated that minimum core capacities are in place for communicable disease surveillance and response. To fully achieve IHR requirements, there is a need to further strengthen sub-national-level surveillance and response capacity. Weekly analysis and feedback of surveillance data of epidemic-prone diseases are in place at the national level, but the sub-national level has limited routine risk assessment capacity.
Gap analysis identified the need for capacity to support operations at the intermediate and primary response levels during a public health emergency. In addition to eight core capacities, mechanisms for detecting foodborne, chemical and radio-nuclear emergencies need to be strengthened.
- Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (2010)
- Western Pacific Regional Food Safety Strategy 2011-2015
- International Health Regulations (2005)