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close this bookTraining Manual in Combatting Childhood Communicable Diseases Part I (Peace Corps, 1985, 579 pages)
close this folderModule 3: Community analysis and involvement
close this folderSession 13: Survey and disease surveillance
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentHandout 13A: Disease surveillance procedures
View the documentHandout 13B: Charting exercises
View the documentTrainer Attachment 13A: Defining survey and surveillance
View the documentTrainer Attachment 13B: Definition of rates
View the documentTrainer Attachment 13C: Survey methodology
View the documentTrainer Attachment 13D: Sample out-patient register
View the documentTrainer Attachment 13E: Examples of surveillance forms
View the documentTrainer Attachment 13F: Visualization of numerical data

Handout 13A: Disease surveillance procedures

Collecting and evaluating information relevant to the control of disease is called disease surveillance. Surveillance of diseases includes finding out about the cases of deaths from disease. Important information includes:

Person - who gets sick; who dies
Place - where people get sick; where they live
Time - when the illness begins

Analysis of surveillance data includes using this above-mentioned information and data on population (i.e., numbers of people in population exposed to disease) to calculate population-based rates and characterize seasonality and high risk groups.

The major steps in disease surveillance are;

1) Identify cases
2) Count reported cases
3) Analyze reported cases
4) Take action promptly
5) Report promptly
6) Monitor monthly and yearly totals.

The basic process to be carried out in each step is:

Step 1 - Identifying Cases

1) Review records of patients coming to health clinic for treatment.
2) Question people coming to the health center about diseases in their village.

Step 2 - Count Reported Cases

1) Identify diseases affecting the community.
2) Determine whether there are any parts of the geographic area served by the health center for which information appears to be incomplete.

Step 3 - Analyze Reported Cases

1) Review the reported cases to detect patterns of occurrence.
2) Reflect on what action may be necessary for reducing the number of serious illness and deaths caused by these diseases.

Step 4 - Take Action

1) Base decision of what action to take on the conclusions recorded from analysis of the case.
2) Plan corrective action to take including:

- Investigating an apparent increase in reported cases
- Determining if an actual outbreak is occurring

Step 5 - Report Promptly

1) Keep high levels of the health ministry or sector informed of disease trends as a particular section of the country.

2) Retain copies of all disease reports monitoring purposes.

Step 6 - Monitor Monthly and Yearly Totals

1) Provide up to date information on the occurrence of the disease.
2) Provide feedback as to the effectiveness of the programs on a month-to-month and year-to-year basis.