MOH News
A Training Course on the Epidemiological Surveillance Program (HESN) Came to a Close
30 March 2014
A training course held in Riyadh by the MOH Agency for Public Health, represented by the Infectious Diseases Control General Department, has recently come to a close. It revolved around the use of the Health Electronic Surveillance Network (HESN) to report tuberculosis (aka, TB), in the presence of the TB Program coordinator throughout the Kingdom's regions.
 
The Director General of Infectious Diseases Control, Dr. Raafat al-Hakeem, has mentioned on this occasion that the Ministry of Health (MOH) shows keen interest in the adoption of HESN by all health directorates, with all its sectors and premises affiliated to the Ministry. In so doing, the Ministry aspires to attaining a level of individual and community health that is equivalent to that of the advanced countries in the health area, as well as providing best-quality health services, that necessitate sound, precise, timely and high-quality information whenever the patient / beneficiary receives health services.
 
Dr. Raafat further expounded that “HESN” is a coherent and flexible online application; it is the modified version of the Public Health and Epidemiological Surveillance System, which is an e-system enabling health workers and decision makers to provide high-level health services, by using a set of services and programs meant to preserve public health and provide primary health care. It is a flexible, easy-to-use application that accords with the requirements of each region, depending on its characteristics and needs.
 
Right now, HESN is comprised of various units that have to do with surveillance of infectious and pandemic diseases, pandemic outbreaks, vaccines and vaccinations, the in-stock vaccines, work organization and management, reporting, and public health reports, in addition to other new units to be added in the future.
 
Dr. Raafat went on to say, “The Ministry has a vision centered on raising the public health level adopted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the world standard. The mission of the program is to promote the concept of public health, which is deemed to be a key objective targeted by Public Health Agency, by using high-tech tools and modern e-communication technologies, in a manner that enhances the tasks and responsibilities of the Agency, revolving around prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases, promotion of public health, and improvement of health behavior according to high and precise standards, equivalent to those applied in the technologically advanced countries.
 
“As for the sought-after objectives of the program,” he continued, “they include improving the output of public health, by increasing the vaccination coverage, reducing diseases morbidity and mortality, in addition to accurately identifying the public health problems, and allocating the resources necessary for solving them. Another objective is to take the necessary preventive precautions against infectious and pandemic diseases, as well as help eradicate some pandemics. That is to be added to information collection as regards public health in the Kingdom, based on precise, fixed criteria. In addition to that, HESN aims at improving the quality of reporting and urgent intervention in due time. It also collects all information of patients on a single, unified national network, to serve both therapeutic and preventive physicians. It is envisioned to be the hard-core of modern scientific and health-associated work, aside from prompting the integrative cooperation between MOH facilities and the relevant bodies, thus facilitating work and making it easier to take decisions quickly. By so doing, the public health in the Kingdom shall be improved, in line with the trend of the Ministry towards promoting e-health.
 
“The significance of HESN resides in the unification of the health operations, forms and reports used throughout the Kingdom electronically,” Raafat added. “This, in turn, is expected to increase the accuracy of information, curb the potential discrepancy among the health regions and MOH facilities. That is because the transactions in many MOH facilities are still non-automated, or only partially automated, and obtaining health information and statistics from paperwork is beset by many errors, and the revision and auditing require even greater effort. This, of course, makes the retrieving and verification of information a laborious task. By using HESN, all such obstacles shall be removed.” 
 
 
 
 
 



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