Health Nuggets

Priority Diseases Surveillance





Dr Aniekeme Aniefiok Uwah has a Bachelor of Medicine,Bachelor of Surgery (MBBCh)degree from the prestigious College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar. He also has a Master in Public (MPH) in Field Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Ibadan. He has a certificate in Leadership and Health Management from the University of Washington, USA. He is the author of the book ,End of Mission which was published in 2017. End of Mission is his account as a first line responder during the Ebola Virus Disease(EVD) outbreak in Liberia where he served for 6months between 2014-2015.

He was also a contributor to the manuscript, Initiation to a ring approach to Infection Prevention and Control(IPC) in Liberia published in the (MMR)Journal of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),Atlanta, Georgia in 2015.

He is a multiple award winner including a Distinguished Service Award from the NMA. He is currently the State Epidemiologist and happily married with 3 daughters.

Happy new year dear readers and Welcome to HEALTH NUGGETS with DR ANIEKEME ANIEFIOK UWAH.
I am delighted to have you here as an avid reader of this popular tabloid, Chrystal Express. Today, Wednesday the 15th of January 2020, we begin a series on HEALTH NUGGETS that will be published every Wednesday of the week.
From time immemorial, our country has been having a huge challenge preventing the spread of infectious diseases, which often than not lead to outbreaks with attendant avoidable high morbidity and mortality amongst the populace.
An analysis of this dangerous trend has identified a major gap in our disease prevention efforts which is weak disease surveillance.

Disease surveillance is defined as an ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, interpretation of public health data used for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programmes aimed at controlling disease outbreaks.

For a surveillance system to be sensitive, all stakeholders need to have a good knowledge of the priority diseases. These stakeholders include, surveillance Officers, Clinicians, Policy Makers, Patent Medicine Vendors(PMV),Traditional Healers, Community Leaders, Religious Leaders, Opinion Leaders and members of the public who must be encouraged to report at the health facility nearest to them when they are ill.

It’s instructive to note that health facilities are the primary source of surveillance data and therefore the importance of our people going to the hospital to seek for health care services can’t be over emphasized.

To ensure that our people are kept healthy by preventing the spread of infectious diseases, there are 41 priority diseases, conditions and events that have been listed for integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR).

Dear readers, throughout the year we will look at all these diseases with the hope that the new knowledge gained will go a long way in improving our surveillance system and ultimately improve our ability for early detection and control of outbreaks.

Priority diseases, conditions and events:
Under the integrated Disease Surveillance Response IDSR, the 41 diseases have been classified into three sub-groups;
1. Epidemic prone diseases
a. Cholera
b. Measles
c. Cerebrospinal meningitis
d. Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF)
i. Lassa fever
ii. Ebola virus disease
e. Yellow fever
2. Diseases targeted for eradication and elimination
a. Buruli ulcer
b. Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm)
c. Leprosy
d. Lymphatic filariasis
e. Neonatal tetanus
f. Noma
g. Onchocerciasis
h. Poliomyelitis
3. Other major diseases, events or conditions of public health importance
a. Acute Viral hepatitis
b. Diabetes Mellitus
c. Dairrhoea with dehydration in children less than 5 years of age
e. Hypertension
f. Injuries (Road Traffic Accident (RTA))
g. Malaria
h. Malnutrition in children under 5 years
i. Maternal deaths
j. Mental neurological and substance abuse disorders (epilepsy, depression etc)
k. Human rabies
l. Severe pneumonia in children less than 5 years of age
m. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
n. Sickle cell disorder
o. Trachoma
p. Human African Trypanosomiasis
q. Tuberculosis
r. Schistosomiasis
s. Severe Acute Respiratory Illness(SARI)
t. Diarrhea with blood
u. Whooping cough (Pertussis)
v. Diphtheria
w. Snake bites
x. Soil Transmitted Helminthes
y. Adverse Event Following Immunization(AEFI)
z. Asthma
aa. Typhoid fever

In conclusion, it’s our hope that by the end of the year more people will report cases based on their knowledge on the case definitions and symptoms of the priority diseases and ultimately support the achievement of some of our national goals like ensuring that Nigeria is declared as a polio free country.


For more information and enquiries, send an email to or call 08036780343

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