PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has constituted ‘provincial and district disease surveillance centres’ to ensure strong collaboration among different departments as part of efforts to prevent outbreak of coronavirus disease in the province.
The Provincial Disease Surveillance Centre (PDSC) and district disease surveillance centres (DDSCs) have been formed in line with Section 8 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Health (Surveillance and Response) Act, 2017 to deal with the threat posed by the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
According to a notification, PDSC having representatives of all line departments and army will work under the director of public health. It will act as central coordinating office at provincial level to support preparedness and response against COVID-19 and issuance of updated advisories and protocols about the emerging situation.
The notification said it would gather information from all districts and disseminate the same if required. The centre will be required to share all the information with public health committee and Technical Advisory Group for taking the desired action and making decisions.
It said that the centre would coordinate with health department and other stakeholders regarding regular briefings and situation reports. It will establish a monitoring and evaluation system to assess the effectiveness and impact of the measures taken against the COVID-19 throughout the province.
The centres will ensure strong collaboration among different departments
The centre has also been tasked with the responsibility of extending support to provincial and district rapid response teams in managing situation by making immediate arrangements to prevent the spread of the infection and communicate its directions and recommend measures to line departments concerned at DDSCs.
It will be also responsible to ensure that DDSCs and rapid response team (RRT) receive uninterrupted logistical support and supplies besides coordinating and managing the flow of information to general public.
The center will also ensure that hospitals are ready and dedicated to manage the patients and take measures for control and prevention of the infection as well as waste management.
The notification copied to all line departments has also entrusted the PDSCs to ensuring prepositioning and supply of personal protective equipments (PPEs) for safety of the healthcare providers. It will be scaling up capacity of the surveillance and response teams and personnel regarding management of cases.
The DDSCs have also been constituted at district level under the deputy commissioners with representatives of health, education and other line departments to collect, collate, analyse and interpret information regarding COVID-19 received from the district level health facilities or media and furnish the same to PDSC.
On the basis of information, the DDSCs will make arrangements for prevention of the virus and coordinating with PDSC for latest guidance with regard to taking the desired measures.
It will also ensure supplies of PPEs and other medical items at the district level to cope with the situation. It will be sending RRTs in case of any alert in the district and details of each case to PDSC.
The DDSCs will ensure strong coordination at the district level with involvement of all members and stakeholders to make sure that the outbreak doesn’t occur.
Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2020