The Indian Ocean islands are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases with epidemic risks (Zika, Ebola, Chikungunya…). In order to prepare for or prevent them, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) initiated the SEGA “One Health” regional surveillance and monitoring network that includes five IOC Member States health services (Madagascar, Mauritius, France – Reunion Island, Seychelles, Union of the Comoros).
In 2006, the Indian ocean countries have been hardly hit by a major outbreak of chikungunya diseases. It appeared at that time that there was no communication between the Ministry of health of those 5 countries. After the outbreak it was agreed by the country representatives within the Indian Ocean Commission to develop a disease surveillance network within the region
The two specific objectives of the project were:
- To establish a regional network of epidemiological surveillance and response coordination;
- To strengthen the national capacities of surveillance Units in consideration of epidemic diseases and outbreak response in the Member States of the IOC.
The project included a two-year regional field epidemiology training program with participants from the five Member states. Epiconcept was leading the project and having one training coordinator based in Madagascar.