The principles of disease prevention and control in any disease outbreak or epidemic are usually based on the following points:
- Identification of the problem/preliminary preparations. This involves:
- Definition of the problem/disease i.e. nature of the disease
- Look at the characteristics of the disease amongst the people
- Determine the possible etiology/etiologies of the disease
- Constitution of an interdisciplinary project/interventional team that is headed by a project leader
- Development of a provisional methodology in the course of a scientific meeting.
- Situational analysis. This involves:
- Conduct literature review about the disease by searching the internet and the WHO data base for relevant information about the disease. Obtain mortality and morbidity statistics about the disease in health centers in the community.
- Development of research/interventional proposal. This involves:
- This is of paramount importance because it gives the researcher the direction and focus as to achieving something at the end of the work. Such a document will contain the plan, strategies, aims and objectives, background of the problem, definition of the problem, definite information about the problem and the fund/budget as to go about tackling the problem.
- Advocacy visit/consultation with stakeholders. This involves:
- Seek support and approval from the community where the work is to be carried out before commencing the work. You do this by visiting the person (Chief or a king) in-charge of the place and let him or her know about the work and its relevance to the community so that approval as to go ahead in doing the work will be given.
- This involves:
- Institution of epidemiological survey team
- Establishment of the etiology
- Notification of the appropriate authorities about the disease
- Institution of preliminary control measures.
- Preventive measures. This involves:
- Establishing appropriate diagnostic facility where future or suspected cases can be handled
- Identification and isolation/quarantine of cases
- Contact tracing
- Investigation of probable sources of infection
- Immunization or mass chemotherapy
- Health education
- Environmental improvement and sanitation.
- Sustenance of interventional/control measures. This involves:
- Involvement of the government
- Involvement of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- Integration of interventional program into health system
- Involvement of the local community in the interventional measures
- Monitoring and evaluation. This involves:
- Apply social research
- Screening the population for improvement on their health status
- Assess the economic impact of the work
- Documentation and dissemination or research results. This involves:
- Preparation of project report and submission to the founders of the project
- Preparation of reports for publication in journals and newspapers or magazines.
- Holding a press conference to discuss the implications and significance of the research outcome.
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