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An Evaluation of the National Brucellosis Surveillance System in Qatar, 2018

An Evaluation of the National Brucellosis Surveillance System in Qatar, 2018

Cureus 11(3): E4169

Introduction Brucellosis is one of the most prevalent bacterial zoonoses and is considered an economically important infection that affects humans and livestock. The infection is usually transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected materials, such as the afterbirth, or indirectly through the ingestion of animal products. In addition, the consumption of raw milk represents a major source of the infection. In the Eastern Mediterranean region, the incidence of brucellosis ranges from one per 100,000 to 20 per 100,000; however, the actual figure is estimated at 20 to 25 times greater owing to the poor surveillance systems among countries in the region. For such reasons, this study is conducted to comprehensively evaluate the brucellosis surveillance system in Qatar, to identify potential strengths and limitations and, hence, inform decision-makers about future mitigation strategies. Methods A retrospective record review was conducted at the surveillance unit in the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to analyze all Brucella notification forms from January to November 2018 for the completeness of notification and timeliness of reporting. The principal investigators conducted data abstraction and analysis in November 2018. Results A total of 125 notification forms were analyzed. It was revealed that the internal completeness varied across the different data elements of the notification forms from 39% up to 100%. Also, the timeliness of the reporting ranged from one day for the T3 time point up to 16 days for the T1 time point. Conclusion Ultimately, the strengthening of the national Brucellosis surveillance system in Qatar demands the implementation of several strategies, including the establishment of veterinary surveillance, enforcement of livestock importation protocols, as well as routine compulsory vaccinations, devising a clear and sensitive case definition of the disease, and public education especially among high-risk groups (shepherds, slaughterhouse workers, and laboratory workers). In addition, continuous education of healthcare workers on the proper reporting of the disease and the electronization of the notification process are important steps to improve the surveillance system in the country.

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Accession: 066782123

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PMID: 31086754

DOI: 10.7759/cureus.4169

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