153567 A community surveillance network for infectious disease complementing national surveillance system

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Jin-Su Choi , School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea
Sun Seog Kweon , School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine, Seonam University, Namwon, Jeollabukdo, South Korea
Minho Shin , School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea
Hye Ran Ahn , School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea
Hyung-Cheol Park , Gwangju Donggu Health Center, Gwangju, South Korea
Tae-Myung Yoo , Gwangju Donggu District Office, Gwangju, South Korea
In many countries in the process of rapid industrialization, national health policies adopted from developed countries often do not reach the core of local communities. Several interfering factors such as the unawareness of traditional difference in medical practice, neglect of local cultural background and bureaucratic urge of rapid implementation frequently lead to the inefficient public health program. The surveillance of infectious diseases, which is crucial in public health, may also suffer from poor community support.

In South Korea, the government operates several national surveillance system for the infectious diseases. Some programs work satisfactorily but other programs may not be fully accepted at the community level which result in low participation and delayed report.

To improve the situation, a district health agency initiated a community based surveillance system for infectious diseases called as Communicable Disease Information Sharing System to complement the national program. As the name suggests, it underscores the mutual benefit of surveillance for public and private health sectors through partnership. With collaboration of participating private clinics and hospitals around the district, the health agency collects data and provides the health practitioners more up-to-dated information on the trend of infectious diseases.

The program has been functioning successfully with active community participation and revealed to be economic and effective way of disease surveillance in the community. Several episodes of disease epidemic were reported by the program well before the recognition of the epidemic at the national level. We suggest that the community surveillance program may well complement national surveillance system.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the importance of community participation in the infectious disease surveillance. 2. List the benefits of community disease surveillance system to public and private health sectors.

Keywords: Surveillance, Infectious Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
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