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What an epidemiology unit does

Outbreak investigation.
If an epidemic (an unusual number of cases) occurs either in the community or in a hospital, the unit begins an investigation to study the risk factors, detect the source of infection and suggest control measures. It will be assisted by hospital infection control committees and/or PHCC prevention units. The report of the investigation is presented to the assistant of the general director for primary health care, and the concerned department (environmental sanitation, infectious diseases department, etc.) takes action to control the problem.
Development of the surveillance system.
Currently, reports about disease (mainly infectious disease) are sent to regional primary health care departments from PHCCs and hospitals (MOH, governmental and private). This system will be developed and expanded to cover all items on the MOH's list of reportable diseases. The epidemiology unit will ensure that all data are reported quickly, regularly and accurately. The system needs to be both simple and flexible, to show the trends of diseases in the region and enable authorities to take timely action.
Health studies and surveys.
With the cooperation of concerned departments in the MOH and the regional health office, the unit will follow up on the data of regional registries and records of chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes registry) and other major health problems, and will conduct surveys to determine the magnitude of health problems. Tracking disease trends and mapping disease outbreaks will permit early intervention and preventive efforts. If there is any change in the trend of a disease, the unit should investigate it and report it. The resources and abilities of the health region should be kept in mind for such work.
The epidemiology unit will organize and cooperate with other departments in training personnel in PHCC prevention units and hospital infection control committees, to update their knowledge and give them new skills in outbreak investigation, surveillance, health research and disease control measures.