Added Value of the Community-Event-Based Surveillance Approach In Disease Detection - Japoma Health District, Littoral Region, Cameroon, 2019

  • Public health surveillance
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Background:
Event-based surveillance (EBS) aims to enhance the early detection of emerging public health threats and build health security in communities. In 2018, The Cameroon Ministry of Health, launched a Community-EBS pilot pro- gram in Japoma Health District (JHD) using community health workers (CHWs), to improve early warning functions of the existing surveillance system. The activity started in March 2018 and is ongoing. We analyzed data of this new system in JHD to describe relevant disease indicators and staff outcomes.
Methods:
We analyzed the database from April 2018 to March 2019 in JHD. A list of priority diseases was defined and con- ditions designed on the basis of the probability and possible public health impact. A signal was defined as pattern of disease/information considered as a threat to human health and an event was manifestation of disease or an occurrence that creates a potential for disease. Every collected signal was registered in a standardized tool and transmitted directly by phone for timeliness purposes. Variables of interest were number of signals transmitted, number of detected events, timeliness of reporting, where and by whom signals were reported. We also collected data on implementation process such as training tools, transmission channel and supportive activities. Data col- lected were analyzed with Excel.
Results:
Overall, 106 signals were collected amongst which 89/106 (84%) were transformed into events. 39/106 signals (37%) were notified on phone by 11 CHWs within 24 hours. Amongst them, two suspected cases of cholera, four neonatal deaths, five dog bites and 31 road accident were captured. An outbreak of scabies, a flood and gas release were investigated. Lack of essential EBS tools and poor staff mastery of initial EBS training were observed.
Conclusion
Overall, 106 signals were collected amongst which 89/106 (84%) were transformed into events. 39/106 signals (37%) were notified on phone by 11 CHWs within 24 hours. Amongst them, two suspected cases of cholera, four neonatal deaths, five dog bites and 31 road accident were captured. An outbreak of scabies, a flood and gas release were investigated. Lack of essential EBS tools and poor staff mastery of initial EBS training were observed.

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