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Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
ZEA, Diego and OSORIO, Lyda. The status of the dengue surveillance system in a Colombian municipality. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.5, pp.785-795. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642011000500007.
Objective The surveillance of dengue cases is essential for defining, implementing and assessing interventions and promptly detecting outbreaks. Municipal health authorities are the key stakeholders guaranteeing surveillance system quality and coverage and are the first users of the information so collected. The present study was aimed at assessing how well the dengue case surveillance system was operating in a municipality in the Valle del Cauca department of Colombia during 2008. Methods The CDC proposed model was used. Emphasis was placed on describing system operation, the available resources, compliance with reports and case adjustment and using information. Interviews were held with health workers. Dengue surveillance system data from the municipality, departmental health authorities and the Valle del Cauca Public Health Laboratory were reviewed. Results Notification coverage was 91.3 %. A lack of using surveillance software and delays in notification were identified. Three people were in charge of all public health responsibilities and none of them had had any training or prior knowledge regarding public health surveillance protocols. There had not been any systematic data analysis. Conclusions As in other areas of Colombia, the lack of training, professional profile and other resources as well as a high turnover of public health personnel were the weakest points of the surveillance system in the municipality. Corrective measures for improving the surveillance system have now been implemented in the municipality which was studied.
Keywords : Dengue; epidemiological surveillance; public health; Colombia.