2.1 Early Detection, Real Time Surveillance and Reporting Epidemics

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2.1 Early Detection, Real Time Surveillance and Reporting Epidemics

New diseases have severe and widespread impacts if they are not discovered during their inception. Early warning systems serve to detect, monitor and study emerging and re-emerging diseases, which allow the appropriate authorities to construct accurate risk assessments and effective response to the crisis while time to do so remains 1

Tackling emerging diseases demand new ways of using existing infrastructure, such as using quarantine checkpoints and train stations for disease surveillance as well as new methods for screening disease to be done out of lab for efficiency, including public reporting systems, cost-effective infrared temperature screening and even rumour screening2.  

Detecting diseases is a key step in building up the Cambodian healthcare system and deciding on a plan for the future. Your task is to design a solution to the current gaps in the early detection system and making improvements by involving the local people, or using existing technology. 

Example: There is currently a lack of incentive for local level reporting of cases as well as a lack of funding for increased human resources to facilitate an additional data collection network3. Overall existing disease surveillance and early warning systems are best described as limited, what could we do to make reporting easier and supplement the current system at a community level. 

Example: Cambodia have existing networks for diseases such as dengue fever and malaria. However, reaching, tracking and serving key populations affected by malaria are challenging. How might we design a method to screen and surveil for diseases at a local level using technology, as well as provide better data to better prepare for an outbreak? 

Source: Building a real time COVID-19 Early warning system4

Related Ideas: Biosecurity/safety, risk communication, access to communications, emergency preparedness, prevention of diseases 

Further Readings:

[1] WHO – Early warning systems, https://www.who.int/csr/labepidemiology/projects/earlywarnsystem/en/#:~:text=Early%20warning%20systems%20are%20in,events%20that%20would%20require%20intervention.
[2] Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance in Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, and the US Naval Area Medical Research Unit 2, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14799855.2012.686338?scroll=top&needAccess=true
[3] health workers in Cambodia are undercompensated, US$190, which is well below the living wage and half of the monthly urban household spending (US$379).
[4] Building a real time COVID-19 Early warning system, https://hbr.org/2020/06/building-a-real-time-covid-19-early-warning-system
[5] Chapter 8 – Infectious Disease Surveillance and Early Warning System During Beijing Olympic Games, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128123430000084
[6] Public Health Surveillance: A Tool for Targeting and Monitoring Interventions, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11770/
[7] New Tool To Help Cambodian Gov’t Detect Disease Outbreaks, https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshuawilwohl/2016/02/02/new-tool-to-help-cambodian-govt-detect-disease-outbreaks/#3696f53a3a33
[8] The Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235383684_Mekong_Basin_Disease_Surveillance_MBDS_a_trust-based_network