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The Rodrigues Health Commission, Ministry of Health and Wellness of Mauritius, with the support of WHO, conducted a Sub-Exercise (Rodrigues) Public Health Risk Profiling from 29 May to 2 June 2023 to better understand the risks and prepare for future public health emergencies on Rodrigues Island .
This exercise follows a similar national level risk assessment conducted in February 2023 in Port Louis where it was recognized that Rodrigues Island comes with its own distinct vulnerabilities and unique topography, prompting sub-national public health risk assessment and mapping. .
The meeting, which was attended by 28 multisectoral experts, used Strategic Risk Assessment Toolkit (STAR) To identify and prioritize public health risks for the island. The STAR toolkit is guided by the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Commitments. It was used to assess potential public health risks for all identified hazards found in Rodrigues.
The risk assessment was facilitated by trainers from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Mauritius who were trained during the National Strategic Risk Assessment earlier in February 2023. This identification and prioritization of public health risks will be followed by the development of robust strategies and plans to address Rodrigues vulnerabilities to protect, mitigate and enhance Prepare for the health emergencies and disasters the island is likely to encounter.
In short, the STAR methodology uses a graded process to identify risks facing a country, describe seasonality and likelihood of occurrence, and assess their potential impact on the health system. While there are some similarities between Mauritius and Rodrigues, the focus was on the differences in the allocation of future preparedness and response plans.
Following the workshop, the Rodrigues Health Commission and with the support of the Mauritian Ministry of Health and Wellness and multi-sector partners agreed to:
- Review contingency plans for priority risks;
- link the results of the risk profile to health system capacity development and operational planning for multi-hazard response;
- strengthening all-risk coordination mechanisms to support collaboration during the emergency preparedness and response phases; and strengthening the public health unit in Rodrigues in parallel with the Mauritian system.
“The aim of the workshop is to conduct a multi-hazard assessment with the participation of various relevant sectors and ministries to standardize preparedness and contingency plans in the event of an emergency that is specific to Rodrigues. Furthermore, hazards are highlighted across the calendar year to indicate peak seasons, allowing for adequate preparedness and resource allocation” – Health Commissioner Rodrigues
Dr Ancia, representative of the World Health Organization, highlighted the importance of preparing for the consequences of climate change.
“…analyzing the impacts of climate change is important for small islands like Rodrigues and it is an evolving science….It is based on extrapolation of future impact that we need to remain very vigilant about.”. HThe day we see unexpected Events caused by climate change, greatly affect on people’s health and livelihood.” –WHO representative in Mauritius, Dr. Anne Ancia
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) – Mauritius.
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