Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Uganda Mountain Community Health System Perspectives and Capacities Towards Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance

Version 1 : Received: 27 May 2021 / Approved: 28 May 2021 / Online: 28 May 2021 (10:20:13 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Siya, A.; Mafigiri, R.; Migisha, R.; Kading, R.C. Uganda Mountain Community Health System—Perspectives and Capacities towards Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8562. Siya, A.; Mafigiri, R.; Migisha, R.; Kading, R.C. Uganda Mountain Community Health System—Perspectives and Capacities towards Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8562.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8562
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18168562

Abstract

In mountain communities like Sebei, Uganda, that are highly vulnerable to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, community-based surveillance plays an important role in the monitoring of public health hazards. In this survey, we explored capacities of Village Health Teams (VHTs) in Sebei communities of Mount Elgon in undertaking surveillance tasks for emerging and reemerging infectious diseases in the context of a changing climate. We used participatory epidemiology techniques to elucidate VHTs’ perceptions on climate change and public health and assess their capacities in conducting surveillance for emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. Overall, VHTs perceived climate change to be occurring with wider impacts on public health. However, they have inadequate capacities in collecting sur-veillance data. The VHTs lack transport to navigate through their communities and have in-sufficient capacities in using mobile phones for sending alerts. They do not engage in reporting other hazards related with the environment, wildlife and domestic livestock that would ac-celerate infectious disease outbreaks. Records are not maintained for disease surveillance ac-tivities and the abilities of VHTs to analyze data are also limited. However, VHTs have access to platforms that can enable them to disseminate public health information. The VHTs thus need to be retooled to conduct their work effectively and efficiently through equipping them with adequate logistics and knowledge on collecting, storing, analyzing, and relaying data, which will improve infectious disease response and mitigation efforts.

Keywords

Alerts; Village Health Teams; Community Based Surveillance; Integrated Disease Surveillance and Reporting; Elgon; Climate Change; One Health

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