The Tourism and Health Information System (THiS), which can be accessed at THiS.carpha.org is a real-time web-based application for facilities housing stay over arrivals such as hotels and guesthouses to monitor the health of their visitors and staff. The information serves as an early warning and response system for hotels/guest houses to monitor and rapidly respond public health issues that may occur at their establishment. Guests/staff from participating hotels/guesthouses can report their symptoms to staff and complete a short online questionnaire.
This form of reporting allows hotel management and public health officials to identify events such as outbreaks early before it spreads All information collected is strictly confidential (with data restriction policy) and the data is solely used for identifying public health threats for rapid response
This novel and innovative real time tourism early warning health information surveillance, monitoring and response syndromic surveillance system for visitors is crucial for strengthening existing core national health surveillance systems of tourism-dependent Caribbean economies to collect real-time data for early alerts and triggering a rapid coordinated response to travel related public health threats, which has the potential of improving the capacity to monitor the health and wellness of locals and visitors. It can also easily inform health service delivery decisions/policies, strengthen national and regional health monitoring efforts, and, all the while strengthening adherence to IHR requirements.
Facilities can register using the application form to have access to THiS.carpha.org. The THiS instructional video (available below), Guidelines for Visitors and Guidelines for Hotel Staff are also available for countries.
After accessing the THiS web application complete a quick questionnaire, which includes symptoms, as well as the country, type of facility (hotel/guest houses, cruise ship, etc.), and name of the facility from where the illness is being reported. All information collected is strictly confidential (with data restriction policy) and the data is solely used for identifying public health threats for rapid response.
Public health surveillance of communicable diseases on cruise ships, through medical logs and active monitoring, is essential for assessing the burden of communicable disease and to allow the early detection and management of outbreaks. Most public health surveillance currently conducted on cruise ships in the Caribbean is done at the national level, not the regional/international level. Currently, ships are required to send a m For these reasons. The IHR(2005) requires the use of the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) for reporting and information sharing . The MDH should be submitted each and every time a vessel arrives in a port of call, not only when there is an illness/death on board; however, it is up to each country as to whether to enforce this, since submission of an MDH is only required under the IHR (2005) when an illness/death has occurred on board the vessel.
CARPHA is the regional public health agency for the Caribbean and the lead authority for regional surveillance and response. It has three main roles with respect to surveillance of and response to public health issues occurring among visitors to the Caribbean arriving on passenger ships in the Caribbean: