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Delayed reporting, lack of diagnostic tools key challenge for RRT

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 20, 2017-

Delayed reporting by patients and lack of adequate diagnostic tools still remain a major challenge for efficient functioning of Rapid Response Teams (RRT) who work as primary responder during any epidemics or disasters.

Experts on Tuesday highlighted that in many rural areas, patients first tend to visit witchdoctors before coming to health facility delaying the time to identify outbreaks. Also, even after realising the outbreak, the lack of adequate diagnostic tools including laboratory kits also delay the time of identification of the diseases in certain locations.

The issue was discussed in the "First National Conference for Rapid Response Teams" organised by Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of Department of Healath Services with the support from World Health Organisation, Nepal. The two-day event beginning from Tuesday saw the presence of Public Health Officers and RRTs across the country.

Dr Bhim Acharya, Director of EDCD said the lack of communication within the health professionals and patients and between central and local health facilities has been a major issue to effectively respond to outbreaks.

"We are trying to figure out ways to address the communication issue. One way is to increase health awareness among the people especially in rural parts of the country," said Dr Acharya. "Also, we are trying to understand why certain outbreaks occur repeatedly despite allocating resources from the centre." 

Vijay Jha, District Public Health Officer of Chitwan said that the RRTs do not have enough resources including diagnostic tools to effectively respond to such events.

The Rapid Response Teams are health professionals designated by District Public Health Office to respond to outbreaks and disasters. These RRTs are believed to be the first responder to any such events. All the districts across the country have pool of RRTs. Apart from the districts, RRTs are also based in each provinces and at the central level.

Published: 20-12-2017 18:03

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