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Surveillance beyond Camp Settings in Humanitarian Emergencies: Findings from the Humanitarian Health Information Management Working Group

  • Susan Purdin (a1), Paul Spiegel (a2), Katelyn P. Mack (a3) and Jennifer Millen (a4)

Abstract

Introduction:

Surveillance is an essential component of health and nutrition information management during humanitarian situations. Changes in the nature and scope of humanitarian assistance activities have created new challenges in health surveillance, particularly outside of camp-based settings.

Objectives:

The primary aim of the Humanitarian Health Information Management Working Group was to identify challenges and areas that need further elucidation in a range of non-camp settings, including urban and rural as well as low-and middle-income countries.

Results:

Three major themes emerged: (1) standardization of measures and methodologies; (2) context in data collection and management; and (3) hidden populations and the purpose of surveillance in urban settings. Innovative examples of data collection and management in community-based surveillance were discussed, including task-shifting, health worker to community member ratio, and literacy needs.

Conclusions:

Surveillance in non-camp settings can be informed by surveillance activities in camp-based settings, but requires additional consideration of new methods and population needs to achieve its objectives.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Deputy Health Director, International Rescue Committee22 E. 42nd Street New York, New York 10168 USA E-mail: susan.purdin@theIRC.org

References

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Working Group 3: Health Information and Data Management: 2007 Humanitarian Health Conference: Final Report, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Available at http://hhi.harvard.edu/images/resources/files/hhc_2007_final_report.pdf. Accessed 24 April 2009.
2.McDonnell, SM,Perry, HN,McLaughlin, B,McCurdy, B,Parrish, RG: Information for disasters, information disasters, and disastrous information. Prehosp Disaster Med 2007;22(4):315322.

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