Improvement in collection of COVID-19 related data at PHC level

Lessons from combating the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have helped the civic body plug gaps in the system, and help the city fight the second wave better.

The civic body’s health department has designed a new portal named Public Health Activities Surveillance and Tracking (PHAST) that integrates all COVID-19 related data at the Public Health Centre (PHC) level for the first time.

“This will not only rightly put PHCs at the centre of the fight against the virus but also plug all gaps and empower PHCs to make data-based interventions,” said a senior Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) official.

Data on ICMR portal of those who test positive for COVID-19, contact tracing data, ILI-SARI cases being reported from private hospitals, international passengers coming into the city are presently being recorded in the central COVID-19 war room. From here, every evening it was disseminated to the zonal level, taking up not only a lot of resources, but also creating situations where the data is effectively lost by the time it reaches PHCs.

“There was chaos at the PHCs. Now all these data files are directly entered on the PHAST portal, which is accessible to all stakeholders – PHCs, zonal level and the Covid-19 war room – at the same time. Data on all those who need to be kept under surveillance is just a click away,” explained the official.

For instance, it has recently come to light that Booth Level Officers (BLOs) who are provided with data of positive cases are carrying out contact tracing reporting to revenue officers while short-staff PHCs are also tracing contacts. Now BLOs will directly upload data on PHAST portal, avoiding duplication of work, another official said.

“PHCs will now be at the centre of the fight against COVID-19. This decentralised approach will work wonders. I have instructed medical officers and even zonal commissioners to visit PHCs every day, sort out any issues and streamline the process. We need to empower PHCs further to handle the responsibility. Presently, each PHC has one COVID-19 doctor, around five ASHA workers and other health workers. We want to post another such team of a doctor and ASHA workers at every PHC, as they are at the forefront of testing, tracking and vaccination in the city,” said the official.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 10:45:05 PM |

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