Assessment of the Contribution of Community Active Surveillance to COVID-19 Case Detection in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria

Publication Date: 25/06/2020

Author(s): Abdullahi Walla Hamisu, Sume Gerald Etapelong, Isiaka Hassan Ayodeji, Zakari Furera, Nuhu Ningi, Abdullateef Jimoh, Braka Fiona, Richard Banda, Sisay G. Tegegne, Augustine Ajogwu, Josephine Nwachukwu, Doris John, Saddiq Abdurrahman, Fatima Ahmed, Lawal adesola, Nwachukwu Teresa, Ogunleye Adesola, Aguye Rahmat, Adedire Elizabeth, Taiwo Lydia.

Volume/Issue: Volume 3 , Issue 2 (2020)


Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a global pandemic. Effective surveillance is needed to monitor disease trends, guide risk assessments and ultimately control the spread of the disease. Community active disease surveillance is a process of ensuring community participation in detecting, reporting, responding to and monitoring health events in the community. Objective: The objective of this study is to highlight the significant contribution of community active surveillance to the detection of community transmission of COVID-19 cases in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the performance of COVID-19 surveillance in the FCT, Abuja with particular focus on the community active surveillance between April 13 to May 18, 2020. We identified COVID-19 high risk communities in which nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples from both symptomatic and asymptomatic community members were collected. Samples were analyzed at the National Reference Laboratory of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Gaduwa, Abuja. We evaluated the performance of COVID-19 surveillance both before and during community active surveillance. We also analyzed the epidemiological profile of confirmed COVID-19 cases from the COVID-19 database of the Public Health Department of the FCT, Abuja. Results: A total of 2,753 suspected and 205 confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported during the study period. The number of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases reported before the community active surveillance initiation was 3,876 and 212 respectively. The settlements with the highest (85) number of COVID-19 Laboratory confirmed cases during the community active surveillance were Mabushi in the Municipal Council area. The male to female ratio of the COVID-19 confirmed cases was 3:1. The majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases i.e., 57% belonged to age group between 20 to 39 years with mean age of 36 years. Conclusion: Community active surveillance has significantly improved detection of COVID-19 cases and has highlighted the burden of community transmission of the disease. There is the need to expand this approach to other area councils in the FCT. In addition, COVID-19 surveillance should be intensified in the health facilities. Timely detection, reporting, isolation and management of confirmed cases as well as contact tracing and monitoring are essential to curbing the spread of COVID-19.

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