Which surveillance systems were operational after Typhoon Haiyan?
Introduction: Effective disease surveillance is vital for a successful disaster response. This study assessed the functionality of the three disease surveillance systems used post-Haiyan: Philippine Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (PIDSR), Event-based Surveillance and Response (ESR) and Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters (SPEED).
Methods: A survey of 45 government health officers from affected areas was conducted in March 2014. The survey documented when each of the systems was operational and included questions that ranked the functionality of the three surveillance systems and whether they complemented each other.
Results: Two of 11 (18%) surveillance units had an operational SPEED system pre-event. PIDSR and ESR remained operational in five of 11 (45%) surveillance units without interruption of reporting. Ten surveillance units (91%) rated PIDSR as functional post-Typhoon; eight (72.7%) considered ESR functional. SPEED was rated as functional by three (27%) surveillance units. Seven of 11 (63.6%) surveillance units rated the three systems as being complementary to each other.
Discussion: In most of the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, the routine surveillance systems (PIDSR and ESR) were not disrupted; although, in Leyte it took seven weeks for these to be operational. Although SPEED is recommended for activation within 48 hours after a disaster, this did not occur in most of the surveyed areas. Most of the surveillance units rated PIDSR, ESR and SPEED to be complementary to each other.