Abstract: Early detection and prompt response are crucial measures to prevent and control outbreaks. Public health agencies, therefore, designed the Communicable Disease Surveillance System (CDSS) to obtain essential data instantaneously to be used for appropriate action. However, a periodic evaluation of CDSS is indispensable to ensure the functionality of the system. For this reason, this study aims to assess the performance of the core and support functions of the CDSS in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. A descriptive cross-sectional study was used. From a total of 291 health facilities HFs (Primary health care centers and Hospitals) in the Kurdistan region of Iraq that have surveillance activities, 74 HFs were selected using a random stratified sampling approach. The World Health Organization (WHO) generic questionnaire has been used to interview the surveillance staff, together with direct collection of the data. Our analysis shows a lack of surveillance guiding manual in the HFs. Even at the district level, where a surveillance manual existed, case definitions, thresholds, and control measures were still missing. To note, more than 93% of HFs had organized and comprehensive patients registers for the collection of their clinical and secondary data. Also, all HFs had functioning laboratories. The majority of them (almost 93%) were equipped to collect, process, and store blood, stool, and urine specimens. About 72% of these laboratories were also able to transport timely the specimens to more specialized laboratories. At all levels, data reporting to the higher level exceeded the recommended minimum rate of 80%. The reporting system at the district level was based on emails, while in the periphery on hand-delivered in paper-based formats (50%), telephone (22%), and social media (22%). Furthermore, our analysis highlights the lack of data analysis: only 3.8% of Primary Health Care Centers conduct simple data analysis regularly, while hospitals do not do any sort of analysis. Also, only a few HFs investigated an outbreak, though using system routine sources to capture these public health events. Our findings show a lack in epidemic preparedness (3%), in feedback (53%), in standard guidelines, training, supervision, and resource allocations in HFs (0%). Taken together, our data show the importance of strengthening the CDSS in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, by reinforcing the surveillance system with continuous feedback, supervision, well-trained and motivated staff, technical support, and coordination between researchers and physicians.

Assessment of core and support functions of the communicable disease surveillance system in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Guarino M.;Ciccozzi M.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Abstract: Early detection and prompt response are crucial measures to prevent and control outbreaks. Public health agencies, therefore, designed the Communicable Disease Surveillance System (CDSS) to obtain essential data instantaneously to be used for appropriate action. However, a periodic evaluation of CDSS is indispensable to ensure the functionality of the system. For this reason, this study aims to assess the performance of the core and support functions of the CDSS in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. A descriptive cross-sectional study was used. From a total of 291 health facilities HFs (Primary health care centers and Hospitals) in the Kurdistan region of Iraq that have surveillance activities, 74 HFs were selected using a random stratified sampling approach. The World Health Organization (WHO) generic questionnaire has been used to interview the surveillance staff, together with direct collection of the data. Our analysis shows a lack of surveillance guiding manual in the HFs. Even at the district level, where a surveillance manual existed, case definitions, thresholds, and control measures were still missing. To note, more than 93% of HFs had organized and comprehensive patients registers for the collection of their clinical and secondary data. Also, all HFs had functioning laboratories. The majority of them (almost 93%) were equipped to collect, process, and store blood, stool, and urine specimens. About 72% of these laboratories were also able to transport timely the specimens to more specialized laboratories. At all levels, data reporting to the higher level exceeded the recommended minimum rate of 80%. The reporting system at the district level was based on emails, while in the periphery on hand-delivered in paper-based formats (50%), telephone (22%), and social media (22%). Furthermore, our analysis highlights the lack of data analysis: only 3.8% of Primary Health Care Centers conduct simple data analysis regularly, while hospitals do not do any sort of analysis. Also, only a few HFs investigated an outbreak, though using system routine sources to capture these public health events. Our findings show a lack in epidemic preparedness (3%), in feedback (53%), in standard guidelines, training, supervision, and resource allocations in HFs (0%). Taken together, our data show the importance of strengthening the CDSS in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, by reinforcing the surveillance system with continuous feedback, supervision, well-trained and motivated staff, technical support, and coordination between researchers and physicians.
2022
assessment
communicable diseases
Iraq
Kurdistan
surveillance
system evaluation
Communicable Diseases
Cross-Sectional Studies
Humans
Iraq
Reproducibility of Results
Population Surveillance
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12610/66361
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