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Meeting of Sentinel Doctors in the Republic of Srpska, BiH

01 July 2014

On 01st of July 2014 at the Public Health Institute of the Republic of Srpska, BiH, in Banja Luka was organized the Meeting of Sentinel Doctors.

In the meeting were invited participants from the future sentinel sites in Banja Luka which are the largest health institutions in the Republic of Srpska, BiH; doctors and nurses from the Clinical Center Banja Luka (sentinel clinics) and Primary Health Center Banja Luka. Both institutions cover over 10% of Republic of Srpska, BiH population and represent all age groups, city-rural area etc.

There were 2 lecturers on the meeting and the presentations were:

  • Influenza surveillance, the importance and history
  • Introducing SARI surveillance – results from the first season
  • Case definitions
  • Influenza epidemiological situation in the Republic of Srpska, BiH
  • Future sentinel surveillance
  • Sampling and transport
  • Personal protective equipment

(RS, BiH does not have a WHO-recognized National Influenza Centre (NIC) but it is now under development through the support of the CDC funded project.

Season 2012/13 is the first season that it has been managed to perform sample testing for influenza viruses thanks to the CDC assistance)

During the meeting the most important discussion was about how to start sentinel surveillance, what is expected from the health institutions that will be part of sentinel surveillance in the season 2014/15, flow of information, coordination between the clinics, how to take and transport the samples.

It has been concluded that it is necessary to:

  • organize a short meeting during September (before the season starts) focused on the procedures of sentinel surveillance and tasks of the key persons
  • diseminate the information to the persons that will be nominated as coordinators (for sentinel surveillance)
  • have continuous coordination between all persons that will be a part of sentinel surveillance
  • send feedback information on testing results to the doctor that treated a patient as soon as possible
  • strenghten adherence to the case definitions 

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