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Study visit about influenza surveillance in Serbia

12-14 May 2014

A Study Visit on influenza surveillance in Serbia was organized from 12th to 14th of May 2014. Montenegro was a participatory country involved in this visit, represented by Dr Bozidarka Rakocevic.

On 12th May at the Institute of Public Health of Serbia a meeting with the Director of IPH, Dr. Dragan Ilic has been organized. The issues discussed in the meeting included: the role and activities of IPH regarding influenza surveillance – routine and sentinel; the legislation and regulations; process of coordination among different ministries and organizations on the state level; the coordination of strategies and methodologies.

Afterwards a meeting with dr Dragana Dimitrijevic– the focal point for influenza- was organized.  The surveillance system of ILI/ARI and SARI was presented and it has been discussed about the following: implementation, organization, coordination; the role of sentinel doctors, health facilities and hospitals and their collaboration with public health structures; communication and feed back of Influenza data among different partners. It has been worked on Annex 3 and Annex 4 of WHO filling them for Serbia sentinel surveillance system; then it has been discussed how to fill them out in Montenegro as best as possible.

On 13th of May a visit at Torlak Institute for Virology, Vaccine and Sera was organized. The meeting was opened by the Assistant Director of the Torlak Institute and the Head of NIC, Dr Slavica Rakic Adrovic.

Dr Slavica Rakic Adrovic presented the structure and the staff, main activities  and role of the lab in the influenza surveillance systems (routine and sentinel), collaboration of the lab with epidemiological structures and sentinel doctors, biosafety and biosecurity practices in the lab,  laboratory techniques used for influenza or other respiratory viruses, diagnosis and surveillance, sample collection and transportation from the patient to the lab, lab protocols for detection of influenza and SOPs, testing algorithm, external quality assessements programmes, internal and external trainings.

Afterward a meeting at the IPH Belgrade took place. In the meeting (with Dr. Slavica Maris-specialist of epidemiology, Dr. Lepša Garotić-specialist of epidemiology and Dr. Dragana Dimitrijevic), was discussed about the role and activities of the IPH Belgrade regarding influenza surveillance–routine and sentinel: process of coordination among different levels; coordination of strategies and methodologies.

On 14th of May there have been organized site visits on ILI/ARI and SARI. Site visit on ILI/ARI took place in the primary health care Center Savski Venac (meeting with Dr. Lepša Garotić-specialist of epidemiology, Dr.  Mirjana Kukic Radonjic-general practitioner and Dr. Dragana Dimitrijević). Dr. Radonjic   presented sentinel surveillance, communication and feed back of Influenza data among different partners.

Site visit SARI took place in Clinical Centre of Serbia (meeting with Prof. Dr. Dragan Delić-director of clinic of infection diseases, Dr. Natasa Mazic-director of department of hospital epidemiology and hygiene and Dr. Slavica Maras). Discussions were focused on SARI surveillance, organization, coordination and how to use them as best as possible in Montenegro.

At the end of the visit a meeting with Dr. Dragana Dimitrijevic was organized at the Institute of Public Health, during which the closure remarks and lessons learned have been presented. 

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