Communicable diseases cause the most deaths in low-income countries around the world. According to Statista, these diseases are Malaria, respiratory infections, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and diarrheal diseases.
In an interview with Dr. Patricia A. Cantimbuhan, an Infectious Disease Specialist of De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, disease surveillance was put on higlight. Disease surveillance is an important element to defeat a possible outbreak that can disastrously affect a population.
“Health is an important part of our life. We cannot function properly without good health. Disease surveillance is one of the ways we can protect our health.
Primary reporting system is an important element. However, no information is generated unless a report of disease is initiated by a physician, infection control professional or the laboratory.
These healthcare workers will not be able to generate such information unless people in the community will seek consult or report their conditions to the proper authorities.”
– Dra. Patricia Cantimbuhan, Infectious Disease Specialist
When asked about the importance of increasing awareness towards reporting and monitoring of communicable diseases in an area, she simply said: “Vigilance is key. Everyone plays a role in the promotion of good health.”
With new technology from superapps like PeN’s virus tracking features, vigilant reporting from a community-generated level could be easily done these days. Health officials can encourage a mandate to report health cases with the use of downloadable smartphone technology; these reported cases shall be assessed carefully to establish credibilty.
With such technological improvements, resolving health-related deficits could later on be managed by cutting further complications by easily identifying disease origins.
Dr. Cantimbuhan stressed that all outbreaks should undergo a systematic investigation to control and defeat it. “Disease surveillance plays an important role in outbreak control. We need to generate correct, complete and timely data to help direct disease control activities”, she added.
Prevention is key; But if it’s too late, refrain from self-medication. Dr. Patricia Cantimuhan advises patients to seek medical consult immediately; Follow the doctor’s advice for isolation; quarantine and chemoprophylaxis (use of medications) to help stop the spread of disease.