Institute for Public Health of the Republic of Macedonia in cooperation with the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health organizes a two-day workshop, supporting the country’s efforts to strengthen oversight of water-related diseases and to enhance knowledge and skills of national professionals for effective approache of surveillance and detection, epidemiological investigation and control of outbreaks originating from water. The workshop will be opened by the director of IPH, Ass. Dr. Shaban Memeti, on 9th  March at Hotel Continental at 9 pm.

In addition to foreign experts from Europe, at the workshop  will participate Snezana  Cicevalieva, Head of the WHO Office in the country, and experts from the Institute of Public Health, Prof. Dr. Mihail Kocubovski, Head of Sector of Environmental Health and Prim. Dr. Zarko Karadzovski, an epidemiologist. Also, at the workshop will take part 55 participants from the Centres for Public Health, the State sanitary and health inspectorate and the Food and veterinary Agency.

The specific objectives of the workshop include:

  • Review of the status of water-related diseases and oversight system for epidemics in the country;
  • Introduction of objectives, key features and requirements for surveillance systems and the main approaches to supervision of water-born diseases;
  • Introducing key elements and principles to effectively manage outbreaks and methods and tools for epidemiological research on epidemics originating from water, including practical exercises based on specific case studies; and
  • Discussion of key challenges and actions to enhance oversight of water-related diseases and systems to respond to waterborn outbreaks in the country.

Establishing and maintaining comprehensive national and local surveillance and early warning systems for waterborne diseases, emergency plans and response capacities are key regulations of the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes. The prevention and reduction of water-related diseases is being identified as a priority field in the working program for 2014-2016 of the Protocol.

Strengthening national capacities for supervision over waterborne diseases and response to epidemics is the main pillar of the program, where Norway and Belarus are leading countries. Republic of Macedonia in the process of preparation for accession to the Protocol, expressed interest in capacity building and requested support from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and the leading countries. In response to this demand, a dedicated activity was included in two year cooperation Agreement 2016-2017 , between the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Macedonia.

Expected goals are: getting systematic knowledge oversight waterborne diseases and outbreak researches  by national and local professionals and identifying necessary actions to improve the system for supervision of waterborne diseases in order to comply with key provisions the Protocol.