Eritrea adapts the WHO integrated disease surveillance & response training guidelines

Discover how Eritrea has successfully adapted the WHO integrated disease surveillance and response training guidelines, ensuring early detection, notification, and response to public health crises. Learn about the implementation of the 3rd edition IDSR technical guidelines and the upcoming training for surveillance actors.

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The 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, as well as other recent health tragedies, demonstrated that many Member States have not completely implemented the IDSR and IHR (2005). As a result, 3rd edition IDSR technical guidelines will be required. As a result, the third edition IDSR technical guidelines were expected to be used by member states following each country's unique circumstances.


The Eritrean Ministry of Health has completed adopting the WHO's 3rd Edition IDSR Technical Guidelines (TGs) and Training Modules by May 20th, 2022. The World Health Organization (WHO) assisted the Ministry of Health (MOH) in organizing two summits in quick succession.

From May 9th to May 13th, twenty (20) interdisciplinary specialists from national and subnational levels will gather to analyze and adapt WHO technical recommendations to Eritrea's circumstances. Participants were able to apply the third edition IDSR technical standards, as well as lessons gathered through the deployment of the IDSR TGs for the second edition and the COVID-19 pandemic, to the advantage of Eritrean IDSR systems.

Following an analysis of all comments and recommendations from the team, the 3rd Edition IDSR technical guidelines and training modules were finalized by a core team of five (5) on May 18–20, 2022.


Eritrea is now on the verge of joining the expanding list of African countries that have effectively implemented the IDSR requirements. The modified technical guidelines will be used as a working reference document by Eritrean health professionals at all levels of the health system, enabling early detection, notification, and response to public health crises.

The IDSR technical guidelines cover the identification of priority diseases and conditions; reporting; data analysis and investigation of probable outbreaks; response preparation; response; monitoring, evaluation, and support supervision. The inclusion of action thresholds in the recommendations simplifies identifying and responding to hazards.

Eritrea's IDSR implementation has advanced significantly with the successful adoption of the third version of the IDSR technical guidelines. In collaboration with WHO, a follow-up training for trainers (TOT) is also planned, which will include particular job aids for surveillance actors as well as frequent monitoring and assessment of the system-wide capacity building.

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