Effective disease surveillance and timely, appropriate public health response require that a range of district officials take action - not just those directly involved in health. However, the technical concepts and specialized language of disease surveillance are not especially accessible to those who have not been trained in this area; nor is it readily apparent to non-health personnel the specific actions that they can take to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases. To increase the accessibility of disease surveillance concepts and promote appropriate actions by district officials, CHANGE and PHRplus staff worked with NIMR to develop, test and print a package of materials about disease surveillance and response directed toward non-health government officials at district level. These materials provide a rationale for their involvement in disease surveillance as well as some limited, practical information about different IDSR diseases; they also identify the types of specific actions that different government officials (community development; education; veterinary; district councilors) should take to prevent or control them, and provide suggestions about how to communicate with the public about preventing and controlling the spread of disease.
The district local officials targeted for this material included District Commissioners, District Administrative Officers, District Executive Directors, heads of departments (Education, Water, Sanitation, Livestock, etc.), councillors, and other local government community leaders.
The main objectives of the IDSR district local official package are:
- To provide health facts and information in clear and simplified language for communication
- To assist district local officials to acquire knowledge on communicable diseases and confidence in carrying out their roles and responsibilities pertaining to health issues
- To efficiently make use of district local officials' limited time to support in disease control and prevention; and
- To indicate the areas of support that will improve effective collaborative efforts to improve disease surveillance.
The district local officials package includes the following:
The district officials package was disseminated to project districts during follow-up visits after training.