MIL-OSI Asia-Pac: The surveillance system on tuberculosis and other infectious diseases

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Source: Asia Pacific Region 2 – Singapore

NOTICE PAPER NO. 2610 
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 29 FEBRUARY 2024

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Shawn Huang Wei Zhong
MP for Jurong GRC

Question No. 5571

To ask the Minister for Health concerning the resurgence of tuberculosis and the potential increase in other infectious diseases (a) how effective is the current surveillance system in detecting and reporting cases of infectious diseases; and (b) whether there are any plans to enhance the disease surveillance and reporting mechanisms to better identify and manage outbreaks.

NOTICE PAPER NO. 2610 
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 29 FEBRUARY 2024

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Shawn Huang Wei Zhong
MP for Jurong GRC

Question No. 5572

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what prevention strategies are in place to reduce the transmission of tuberculosis (TB) and other infectious diseases within the community; and (b) how is the Ministry working to improve public awareness and education on the prevention of TB and other infectious diseases.

Answer

1      The Ministry of Health (MOH) monitors infectious diseases threats through collaboration with international counterparts and partners, horizon scanning and risk assessment. Locally, MOH monitors disease trends, including for tuberculosis (TB), through reporting of diseases by healthcare professionals and laboratories, and sentinel sites.  Since COVID-19 pandemic, we work with the National Environment Agency to deploy wastewater testing as a permanent and regular mode for disease surveillance. 

2      Our response to the spread of infectious diseases is tailored based on the circumstances, including their transmission mode and severity. For example, in the case of TB, it spreads through prolonged close contact.  We will therefore conduct contact investigations to identify persons with close and prolonged contact with infectious TB cases. Such persons are screened for TB, and treated if found to have active TB disease or latent TB infection. This is a tried and tested way to reduce transmission of TB. 

3      New technologies and methods are continuously adopted to complement and improve our surveillance systems.  We will continue to improve our current systems by leveraging new IT and analytic tools to generate insights from various surveillance data. 

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News