Disease surveillance has been recognized as an effective strategy in the control and prevention of diseases most especially communicable diseases. An effective surveillance system allows early intervention for the prevention and reduction of the mortality and morbidity that may result from epidemics of communicable diseases. This study assesses the adequacy of training of disease surveillance and notification officers (DSN) officers and identifies the logistic factors that may hinder their effective functioning in the local government areas in the Ekiti and Osun States in Nigeria. A cross sectional descriptive study of the disease surveillance and notification officers in Osun and Ekiti states of Nigeria was carried out. Total sampling was done. Questionnaires sought information on demographic data, regularity of reporting and the availability of logistic facilities in the respective local government areas (LGAs). Out of 42 DSN officers surveyed, 38 (90.5%) were medical records officers. 32 (76.2%) had appropriate training in disease surveillance and notification. Most had received training from the WHO. Over 90% knew the process of reporting. 45.8% reported that there were penalties for defaulting officers. Logistic support was inadequate in more than half of the local governments surveyed. Inadequate funds and lack of surveillance forms were significantly associated with reporting of outbreaks by the officers. Only 13 of the officers had ever recorded episodes of epidemics in their LGAs. Majority of DSN officers had appropriate training on disease surveillance, reporting and notification. However, logistics for effective functioning was poor. Local and state governments need to put more effort into provision of logistic support for their DSN Officers to sustain the apparent improvement in surveillance activities.
Key words: Surveillance, logistic support, training, epidemics.
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