Childhood communicable disease surveillance: Perception and performance of paediatric residents, Sudan 2019-2020


  • Walyeldin Elnour Mohamed Elfakey Faculty of Medicine, University of Bahri, Khartoum North, Sudan
  • Yossra Alnour Awad Alkareem Mohammed Federal Ministry of Health, Khartoum, Sudan.


Background Communicable disease surveillance system is heavily relied upon for effective disease
control, health decision-making and to build health strategies. This study assessed the perception and
performance of paediatric residents toward two running surveillance programs in Khartoum state, Sudan.
Methods This is a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among paediatric residents in Khartoum
State, Sudan 2020. Data was collected through structured, self-administered questionnaire. The total
number of residents included in the study was 305. They were selected using “stratified random sampling”
technique. Data were analyzed via Statistical Packages for Social Sciences version 23. The level of
significance was at p ≤ 0.05.
Results Two hundred and sixty-three paediatric residents participated in the study; 56% (n=148) of the
participants knew the correct definition of the case of a child to be included in acute flaccid paralysis
surveillance program, while 38% (n=99) correctly defined the case definition of measles and rubella of
the surveillance program. There was no significant association between attending an awareness session
about the programs and the knowledge of the correct case definition of the surveillance programs (p=0.357
for acute flaccid paralysis surveillance and p= 0.333 for measles and rubella surveillance). In contrast,
there was a statistically significant association between the level of residency of paediatric residents and
the correct perception of acute flaccid paralysis surveillance program (p=0.033), whereas, there was no
significant association between the level of residency and correct knowledge of measles and rubella
surveillance program (p=0.363); 92.5% (n=147) of respondents who met a case of acute flaccid paralysis
during their training period, notified the case. While three quarters (n=180) of those who met a case of
measles during their training period did not notify the case. More than half (n=100) of them stated that
they did not know that they should notify. Of two hundred forty-eight participants who notified about acute
flaccid paralysis or measles cases, a quarter (n=61) of them received feedback from the surveillance staff
about the results of the patients.
Conclusion The study revealed the significant gap in the knowledge and practice of disease surveillance
and notification among residents particularly for the measles and rubella surveillance program, and this will
impact negatively on the health system, and impede the achievement of disease elimination. We recommend
implementing effective training courses for residents and update them regularly about disease surveillance
and notification.