PNIC leads training on ILI, SARI surveillance

The RITM Philippine National Influenza Center (PNIC) led a three-day Refresher Training on Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) Surveillance on November 11 to 13, 2019 at The Vivere Hotel, Alabang, Muntinlupa.

A total of 54 participants from the 18 ILI sentinel sites, six SARI sites, and the Department of Health’s Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB) took part in the discussions on global and local ILI and SARI surveillance and demonstration on proper specimen collection, transport, and packaging techniques.

Virology Department Head Dr. Mayan Lumandas emphasized the need to intensify virologic surveillance of ILI and SARI in the country and the significant role of surveillance officers in the detection and surveillance of cases. PNIC Technical Supervisor Vina Lea Arguelles delivered an overview of global influenza surveillance and the role of PNIC while Surveillance and Response Unit (SRU) Head Dr. Annabelle Sucuano presented the ILI and SARI surveillance in the Philippines. Afterwards, PNIC Technical Officer Jonjee Morin presented the results and monitoring of laboratory updates.

Meanwhile, BioRisk Management Officer Abigail Miranda and PNIC Technical Officer Marie Therese Quimpo led the discussions and demonstration on specimen collection, biosafety, packaging, and transport. Training participants also developed a training plan on ILI and SARI surveillance for their own respective health facilities.

In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) released the Global Epidemiologic Surveillance Standards which highlighted the need for extensive influenza surveillance to improve epidemiologic surveillance and the need to expand the scope to the severe end of the spectrum of influenza disease through SARI surveillance. Under the DOH-EB, SARI surveillance was implemented within the framework of the Philippine Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System (PIDSR).

The refresher training is part of RITM-PNIC’s initiative to enhance the national sentinel-based surveillance system for Influenza in the regions of NCR, CAR, 5, 9, and 11 respectively. The sentinel surveillance data is forwarded to the WHO Global Reference Laboratory for vaccine formulation.

by Ma. Patricia Lansang, Project Evaluation Officer II, Communication and Engagement Office