About the project
Guardians of Health - Community Leaders
The project aims to develop an event-based surveillance (EBS) system with the specific and active involvement of community leaders. Implementation of EBS in other locations has shown the longer term sustainability can be problematic. The proposal is to investigate whether community-based EBS is viable, whether involving community leaders in designing the system from the outset can help embed the EBS process into the surveillance system and whether a well functioning EBS system is more effective in detecting infectious disease outbreaks than conventional surveillance systems without direct community participation.
In Brazil, the project will take place in the Integrated Development Region of the Federal District and surroundings (RIDE-DF), specifically in the Eastern Health Region of the Federal District and in some municipalities in the state of Goiás that make up RIDE-DF, namely Pirenópolis, Cavalcante and Niquelândia. In Cape Verde, it will take place in the municipalities of Praia and Santa Catarina de Santiago, on Santiago Island.
The structure of this project includes literature reviews on surveillance methods and processes, methods of mapping of local leaders, the adaptation of digital tools based on the views of the community leaders, training workshops, and, after implementation, the monitoring and evaluation of reports made by the community leaders to assess effectiveness and compare with the conventional surveillance system The Guardians of Health event based surveillance application was the resource chosen for fieldwork with participating community leaders and has is being adapted and tested with community leaders for the purpose of the project.
In a similar way to the participatory surveillance model that already exists in the application, community leaders will be able to report signal that will be evaluated by the project's team of epidemiologists, establishing a flow of communication with local surveillance teams to identify possible outbreaks.
Guardians of Health - Community Leaders is coordinated by the Brazilian Association of Field Epidemiology Professionals (ProEpi), in partnership with the Health Situation Room of the University of Brasilia (SDS UnB), the National Institute of Public Health of Cape Verde and the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST). The UK-PHRST is an innovative partnership between the UK Health Security Agency and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, funded with UK aid from the UK Department of Health and Social Care.
*The opinions expressed in this study are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social Care.