Role of the primary healthcare professional in IDSR
As a health professional working and living in a community, you are likely to know the residents well (figure below). Your relationship with the community is very important and should help you in your surveillance activities. You can teach the community about priority diseases and conditions in the area so that they are aware of such diseases and report them to you. With good community participation, you can perform surveillance activities (outlined in the box below) in your catchment area much more effectively.
Role of primary healthcare professionals in IDSR activities
Your roles are to:
- Identify cases of priority diseases and conditions in the community by using case definitions
- Report any cases or possible cases to the nearest higher health facility as soon as possible
- Study suspected cases, identify everyone who is affected, and determine where and when the disease is most common
- Actively search for other cases in the community by doing home visits; inform the community about cases in the area and work with community members to find more cases
- Assist the local health authorities to treat cases and to control the spread of the disease
- Mobilise and educate the community to prevent the disease from spreading
- Keep your community informed about the cases that have been identified and how they are being managed.