Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control

Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control (MCDC) works to protect the population by monitoring communicable diseases, giving expert advice to primary care providers who diagnose the diseases, and following-up contacts of disease to reduce the spread in the community. The service also works collaboratively with immunisation service providers and other stakeholders to deliver WA immunisation programs and implement strategies to improve immunisation.

MCDC is a metropolitan-wide service based in the North Metropolitan Health Service that provides disease control services to the North, East and South Metropolitan Health Services. This support includes advice on notifiable infectious disease and immunisation to hospitals, general practice, residential aged care, education facilities and child care centres, to ensure appropriate public health management of notifiable diseases and other communicable diseases of public health significance, including disease outbreaks.

Find more information on the notification of infectious diseases and related conditions (external site).

Aboriginal health team

Aboriginal health liaison and project officers work closely with other MCDC teams to ensure culturally appropriate service delivery. Aboriginal health liaison officers support disease control and syphilis response team members in case interviews and contact tracing. They regularly conduct offsite visits and support Aboriginal people to engage with service providers for testing and treatment. The team works closely with immunisation staff to improve the immunisation rates in Aboriginal children in the metropolitan area, through its suite of Moorditj projects.

Disease control team

The disease control team's primary function is managing cases of notifiable diseases, including contact tracing of cases to reduce further incidences of the disease. Their management of notifiable disease outbreaks may include outreach services to childcare centres, schools, and other settings. Additionally, the nursing staff support immunisation through the provision of immunisation program childhood catch-up plans to metropolitan GPs for children overdue for vaccines. MCDC receives vaccine cold chain breach reporting from immunisation providers and provides support and advice on their management. Staff provide education to relevant stakeholders for disease control and immunisation.

Immunisation team

The team delivers immunisation projects to improve Aboriginal childhood immunisation rates in metropolitan Perth, data quality of Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and overall childhood immunisation rates to meet WA Health immunisation coverage targets. This includes follow-up of parents of children requiring immunisation prior to starting kindergarten, childcare and school; provision of support to hospital services in the implementation of healthcare worker influenza programs; assisting the MCDC nurses to provide expert phone advice to general practice and other immunisation providers to support immunisation; and delivering education to stakeholders on immunisation, cold chain management and immunisation catch-up planning.

Public health intelligence

This team of epidemiologists has been integral to MCDC innovation and the development of databases for robust data collection and management across disease surveillance and immunisation. Their responsibilities include reporting and evaluation of public health programs; cleaning and analysis of disease surveillance and immunisation data; and automation of routine reporting and workflows. Their technical expertise includes data analysis; management and efficiency of public health systems; developing models that explore the implantation and effectiveness of public health activities; disease trends; and burdens of disease.

Syphilis response team

This multidisciplinary team managing syphilis in high-risk groups - including women of childbearing age, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and those experiencing homelessness - was formed in 2022 in response to increasing numbers of infectious syphilis cases. Their implementation of strategies and programs to control the outbreak of syphilis among communities in the Perth metropolitan area using partnership strategies is applicable to the sustainable control measures for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and promotion of sexual health in WA communities.

Last Updated: 06/09/2023