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Disease Surveillance and Prevention (DEWS) (July 2014 – June 2022)

Countries
Afghanistan
Sources
USAID
Publication date
Origin
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OVERVIEW

Through the Disease Surveillance and Prevention project, USAID supports the World Health Organization to collect information on a weekly basis on 15 targeted communicable diseases in Afghanistan. By monitoring sites in all 34 provinces, the project provides accurate and timely data on the outbreak of disease and seasonal trends. Investigations result in quick action to mitigate disease outbreaks and prevent epidemics. The project also coordinates health surveillance in the field, disseminates public health information, and collaborates with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Expanded Program on Immunizations.

ACTIVITIES

  • Health facilities operating in all 34 provinces of the country monitor 15 priority infectious diseases and potential public health emergencies of international concern and report weekly to the Afghan Ministry of Public Health. This process strengthens the polio surveillance network in Afghanistan.
  • Investigate outbreak alerts received from health facilities or communities in coordination with related stakeholders
  • Hold disease control meetings in every province; early warning system collaborates with programs at national and provincial levels to include cross-border coordination and notification on acute flaccid paralysis cases
  • Train medical personnel and other stakeholders in surveillance and outbreak response protocols
  • Collect potentially infected specimens in the field, then store and transport at recommended temperatures for analysis at Central Public Health Laboratory in Kabul
  • Establish Ministry of Public Health internal standard operating procedures and external quality assurance measures for outbreak detection

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Expanded DEWS from 424 health facilities to over 600 health facilities in 2018
  • Improved immunity levels: 84 percent of Afghans are living in areas free of polio virus
  • National Surveillance Directorate compiled and analyzed100 percent of Ministry of Public Health weekly disseminated reports to donor groups, UN agencies, other ministries, and non-governmental organizations working in health service delivery
  • Conducted on average, 16 targeted immunization days at the national and local level each year
  • Investigated almost 99 percent of outbreak alerts within 48 hours of notification
  • Detected cases of Q-fever and Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever for the first time in Afghanistan; health workers been developing and distributing treatment and prevention guides for those and other infectious diseases since 2015
  • Recruited the NGO Coordinator for the Ministry of Public Health Emergency Operations Center in 2018