Barranquilla (Atlántico), April 24, 2014. In order to ensure health safety in the context of the Brazil World Cup because of the high influx of Colombians who will visit that country, this Ministry, in coordination with the National Health Institute, has prepared some guidelines to enhance the prevention, surveillance and control actions of events of public health interest, 49 days before the opening of the FIFA event.
In this regard, the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Alejandro Gaviria urges governors, mayors, province and municipal health secretaries, managers of public and private health service providers (IPS), entities managing benefit plans, entities belonging to the system of health exception, the National Health Institute and the National Institute of Food and Drug Monitoring (Invima) to follow the guidelines in relation to the sports tournament.
Considering that Colombia is the fourth country with the highest electronic purchase of tickets to attend the World Cup (4,574) after Brazil (143,085), United States (16,059), Australia (5,357) and before Argentina (3,800), the following recommendations are advised.
Role of local authorities
The local authorities must accompany the tourism companies that promoted travel packages to the World Cup, by making recommendations to travelers, such as reviewing the history of vaccinations against measles and rubella, designate a vaccination point in capital cities for travelers to the World Cup, checking vaccination cards, and if there is no registration, vaccinate against these diseases upon presentation of the ticket.
“Vaccination against measles and rubella must be administered fifteen days before the trip to Brazil and local authorities should ensure that coverage of the ongoing program is greater than 95%, intensifying actions in children who have not received the triple viral as part of their vaccination schedule,” said the Minister.
He stressed that the reporting of suspected and confirmed measles and rubella cases on the part of the IPS should follow the protocol established in the Surveillance System (SIVIGILA) and simultaneously with the National Focal Point of the Ministry of Health at the emails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, y email@example.com.
Actions on port health
There should be direct communication with the operators of package tours and travelers to express these and other risks to events of public health interest such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV), the chicungunya virus, influenza and hemorrhagic fevers, in addition to exposing self-care measures for the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages in order to avoid poisoning with these adulterated products.
Likewise, port health authorities must notify the National Focal Center of any event that occurs in the domestic and international terminals and points of entry and departure. To that end, the Local Committee on Health Port must remain active and establish information flows with health offices to coordinate contingency plans.
Similarly, there should be a census of the working population in the entry point that does not have the measles and rubella vaccine. In this sense, contact information of the authorities at the national and international terminals in the jurisdiction should be available.
“It is important for tour operators, travel agencies, airlines and travelers to know the Brazil relief hotline number, which is 192 and is free, and also the website of the Ministry of Health, which is www.saude.gov.br/viajante,” Gaviria said.
For returning travelers
Public health surveillance does not end with the World Cup final game. Actions for returning travelers will be directed to checking and following possible imported cases of measles, rubella, new viruses such as MERS-CoV, chikungunya virus, influenza and hemorrhagic fevers, therefore province, district and municipal offices should maintain the immediate response group active and work in line with public and private IPSs.
“They must ensure that the respective serum samples, throat swabs, urine of any suspected case of measles and rubella are forwarded immediately to the province health laboratory or the virology laboratory of the National Health Institute for their analysis,” he added.
The plan provides for the investigation of any case of febrile rash illness and icterohemorrhagic fever (eg, yellow fever, viral hepatitis, leptospirosis, malaria and dengue) during and after the World Cup; it also includes the intensification of actions in international air terminals by tracking the Aircraft General Declaration, following the parameters of Annex 9 in the International Health Regulations.