Sentinel site visits in Macedonia

July – September 2016

In the period 22 July - 29 September 2016, teams from the Institute of Public Health (IPH)  composed by one epidemiologist and one person from the lab for virology and molecular diagnosis,  performed  sentinel site visits to 14 sentinel ILI sites and 3 sentinel SARI sites. For the visit, a unique form to conduct sentinel site visit was used and reports are prepared for every sentinel site. The number of staff included in the surveillance is from 2 to 4 and it is always a team of one medical doctor and one nurse. All of them have good evidence and can find required data at any time. Almost all, find no difficulties to understand case definitions for ILI/ARI/SARI. But, there is still a need to keep the printed version of the case definition  visible to all staff in the sentinel site.  Regular meetings/trainings at the beginning of the season are required and recommended by the sentinel sites, to  refresh the knowledge and share experience and especially for the new staffed in the sentinel sites. Live discussion was raised regarding the small number of samples sent for lab diagnosis and the reasons for this situation. During site visits in the sentinel SARI sites, a survey was conducted among staff in order to determine the reasons for poor reporting of SARI cases. The structured questionnaire was used. Findings of the survey will be used to  improve the sentinel SARI surveillance.