Nigeria recorded her first case of COVID-19 in Lagos State on 27th February 2019, and the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 59,287, with 1,113 deaths as of 4th October 2020. The commentary highlighted the importance of a health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) and its potential in addressing a surveillance gap, and the inadequacy of an existing sociodemographic database used for palliative administration. The authors examined the HDSS in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic response and learning from the Nahuche model. The Nahuche HDSS model has the potential of identifying poor households as it collects standard data on the socio-economic status of each of the households within the demographic surveillance area. Standard questionnaires assessing the household socio-economic status adapted from standard surveys, such as Nigeria Health and Demographic Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey, were administered to the household heads of each household every two years to monitor socio-economic advancement of the households. Data on variables such as household possessions, including animals and livestock, were collected and analysed using factor analysis to group the households into different wealth indices. HDSS provides an opportunity to ameliorate the challenges associated with halting the spread of the virus in the areas of surveillance and administration of palliatives in Nigeria, where there is a paucity of reliable demographic and household-level socio-economic data. This paper calls for the setting up of a functioning HDSS in each region of Nigeria to address the dearth of reliable data for planning health and socio-economic interventions.
Published in Journal of Primary Care & Community Health
Country: NigeriaKeywords: Research | Surveillance | COVID-19 | iCCM | SDG3
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