Disease Surveillance Stepping Up to Address Contagious Diseases In KP

KP health department is stepping up disease surveillance through prompt investigations to address communicable diseases in province.

Disease Surveillance Stepping Up to Address Contagious Diseases In KP

According to officials, the health department is stepping up disease surveillance through prompt investigations to address communicable diseases in the province.

The integrated disease surveillance and response cell of the health department seeks to guarantee the availability of contagious disease diagnostic services at government laboratories and stop disease outbreaks through quick action. According to officials, the health department has submitted a PC-1 to request approval of a Rs900 million grant to increase disease testing and take prompt action to prevent outbreaks.

200 million rupees of the requested sum will be used to upgrade the Public Health Reference Laboratory (PHRL) and introduce new tests. The Khyber Medical University’s (KMU) main campus’s health department established the lab in 2015 to identify 41 notifiable diseases and respond to outbreaks. The health department requests a grant of Rs900 million to increase testing.

The department had previously requested Rs 1.2 billion for the improvement of integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR) and the improvement of PHRL’s diagnostic capabilities to support the detection and diagnosis of COVID-19, dengue, multidrug resistant typhoid, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), influenza, and cholera.

A revised program has been approved by the government, according to officials. In addition to conducting other investigations, such as those for measles and influenza, to diagnose as many infectious diseases as possible, PHRL already performs these tests free of charge for hospitals.

At PHLR, they stated, “We intend to increase the number of tests for various communicable diseases from six to twelve. According to them, the program also entails enhancing disease surveillance at the district level. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the province, the health department established 12 divisional labs in collaboration with Khyber Medical University.

According to officials, these labs are equipped to conduct tests on samples that have been sent to them from the corresponding hospitals. These labs can be used to examine samples for other contagious diseases in the province.

For the second day in a row, no cases of COVID-19 were discovered in the province on Tuesday. According to officials, the budget was approved by the government in order to facilitate quality patient care and quick testing. Members of the United Nations are required by the International Health Regulations to establish public health laboratories in order to monitor public health conditions and provide field staff with the information they need to prevent and control epidemics.

“We prevented outbreaks during the most recent floods by acting based on surveillance. As a result, the department has also suggested to the government that a permanent setup run by dedicated staff be established as a regular part of the health budget rather than the Annual Development Program, “officials said.

The majority of the province, with the exception of Peshawar, Abbottabad, Mansehra, and Lower Chitral, has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases, giving laboratories time to look into illnesses that might cause outbreaks. They added that the department had written to district health officers and medical superintendents to encourage COVID-19 testing in order to get a better idea of the pandemic’s prevalence.

Since COVID-19 is no longer regarded as a serious threat to life as it was one year ago, the department has been faced with the enormous challenge of improving the testing of suspected COVID-19 patients.

The government has eliminated COVID-19 standard operating procedures, and there is no fear factor, which negatively impacts the vaccination drive as well as sample collection, according to officials. “Our workers say they do not find people to give swabs for the COVID-19 investigation in the province, and tests have gone below 100.