Surveillance is a systematic and continuous collection of epidemiological health data within a specific time frame, and therefore the interpretation and dissemination of such information in the field of public health. Surveillance is essential in the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health practices. The Early Warning Alert and Response Network is a simplified disease surveillance system created in the affected north of Syria after the collapse of the health system in mid-2013.
- Reduce morbidity and mortality associated with epidemic diseases in Syria.
- Strengthen the capacity for surveillance activities, i.e.; training staff at all levels to develop and implement action plans, advocacy and resources mobilization.
- Integrate multiple surveillance systems (environmental and nutrition surveillance) so that available resources can be used more efficiently.
- Improve the use of information for rapid detection and response toward suspected outbreaks and epidemics, monitor the impact of interventions, facilitate data and plan based public health policy.
- Improve the flow of surveillance data across health system levels.
- Enhance laboratory capabilities to detect pathogens.
- Increase participation of physicians in Syria in the epidemiological surveillance system.
- Emphasize community involvement in detection and response to public health problems.
- Launch an epidemiological surveillance and response to detect public health threats in network coverage areas inside Syria.
The diseases surveillance system relies on accurate and complete data in a timely manner. These factors ultimately determine the system’s ability to provide useful health information about the population served by the network through:
- Weekly epidemiological report (in Arabic and English).
- Weekly immunodeficiency surveillance report.
- Environmental health report every two weeks (in Arabic and English).
- Nutrition surveillance report (monthly).
- Annual technical report.
2. Training and capacity-building:
- Training of the early warning and response network staff (every 3 months).
- Training health staffs of NGOs in Syria.
3. Epidemiological Surveillance Laboratory Network:
Five laboratories are distributed in four governorates in northern and southern Syria with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO).
4. Other surveillance systems:
- Environmental surveillance and water quality investigation.
- Nutritional surveillance.