Immediately reportable diseases
Of the 20 priority diseases in Table 41.1, 13 must be reported immediately to the next reporting level. For these immediately reportable diseases, a single suspected case could signal the outbreak of an epidemic, so it is important to report any cases or suspected cases to the next level of the reporting hierarchy within 30 minutes. This means you should report cases to the nearest Health Centre within 30 minutes, the Health Centre reports to the District Health Office within 30 minutes, and so on up to the highest national level (see Figure 41.4).
When you encounter a case of an immediately reportable disease, first report the information verbally or by telephone, or by sending a text using the SMS short message service. An official written report using the modified case-based reporting format (see Appendix 41.1) should follow immediately after the verbal report. You should remember to record the affected person's address, age, sex, vaccination status and symptoms. You should also suggest a possible diagnosis – that is, which of the 13 immediately reportable diseases you suspect. The date of referral and your signature should also be on the reporting form. After completing the form, you should immediately send the patient to the Health Centre and check by telephone to confirm the arrival of the patient at the Health Centre.