Analytical summary - Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases
For the past two decades disaster management in Swaziland has been conducted in an ad hoc manner through the National Disaster Task Force. This culminated to the enactment of the Disaster Management Act, 2006 which formed the base legal standing for attending disasters in the country. However this piece of legislation is not able to comprehensively take care of Health Emergencies due to issues of technicality of the subject that need careful attendance by specialized personnel with clear legal mandate.
The Ministry of Health established a Department for Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit with wide responsibilities in health emergencies in the country. The Unit is a public health arm and serves as the directing and coordinating authority for health emergencies. It is responsible for providing leadership and coordination on health emergencies/disasters, providing Emergency Medical Services (National Ambulance Service), shaping the health emergency research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options for disaster risk management for health, monitoring disease outbreaks and assessing performance of health system during emergencies.
To achieve it overall objective the Ministry of Health has developed a Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Strategy in 2008. The strategy outline a sector coordinated response actions in times of emergencies or disease out breaks in the health sector.