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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-27

Emergency preparedness and the capability to identify outbreaks: A case study of Sabon Gari Local Government Area, Kaduna state

Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A A Abubakar
Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0331-3131.73877

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Background : Widespread outbreaks, particularly of communicable diseases and weak surveillance systems, across the African sub-region led to the adoption of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) as a regional strategy for strengthening national surveillance systems and effective response to priority communicable diseases. One of the goals of IDSR is to improve the ability of Local Government Areas (LGAs) to detect and respond to diseases and conditions that lead to high morbidity and mortality. The aim of the study was to assess the emergency preparedness and capability to identify outbreaks in Sabon Gari LGA. Methodology : A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out in Sabon Gari LGA in October 2007. Key informant interviews of the key personnel conducted using structured interviewer administered questionnaires were used to obtain information about the emergency preparedness and the capability of the LGA to identify outbreaks. The results obtained were compared to the recommendations of the National Technical Guidelines for IDSR 2002. Results : There were no prepositioned stock of drugs and vaccines available; 8% of staff was trained in disease surveillance. There is a budget line available for emergency response. The LGA relies on reports from health facilities and communities to identify outbreaks; no threshold or markers are used. No form of analysis is carried out on data collected at the LGA level. Timeliness of monthly reporting for May and June 2007 was 26.5 and 22.5% respectively; completeness of monthly reporting was 32.7%. Conclusion: The emergency preparedness and capability to identify outbreaks in Sabon Gari LGA is poor based on the selected criteria from the National Technical Guidelines for IDSR; less than 50% of the criteria are met. There is a need for Sabon Gari LGA to fully adopt the National Technical Guidelines on IDSR to be better positioned to prepare for and identify outbreaks.

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