Public health surveillance

Introduction The 2014/15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa demonstrated that there is a need to make disease surveillance more effective. This reading pack sets out key features of effective surveillance systems, challenges to building these systems in low resource settings, and some suggested approaches. It places surveillance in the wider context of health systems strengthening,… Read more

Emerging infectious diseases and pandemic potential: status quo and reducing risk of global spread

Emerging infectious diseases are an important public health threat and infections with pandemic potential are a major global risk. Although much has been learned from previous events the evidence for mitigating actions is not definitive and pandemic preparedness remains a political and scientific challenge. A need exists to develop trust and effective meaningful collaboration between… Read more

Early detection, assessment and response to acute public health events: implementation of early warning and response with a focus on event-based surveillance

The goal of this document is to provide national health authorities, and stakeholders supporting them, with guidance for implementing or enhancing the all-hazards Early Warning and Response (EWAR) within national surveillance systems. It aims to provide direction regarding the implementation of surveillance capacities, especially Event-Based Surveillance (EBS), in order to detect and to respond rapidly… Read more

IDSR as a platform for implementing IHR in African countries

Of the 46 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) African region (AFRO), 43 are implementing Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) guidelines to improve their abilities to detect, confirm, and respond to high priority communicable and non-communicable diseases. IDSR provides a framework for strengthening the surveillance, response, and laboratory core capacities required by the… Read more

Public health surveillance in the United States: evolution and challenges

In its 1988 report, a committee of the Institute of Medicine highlighted assessment as one of the three core functions of public health along with policy development and assurance. The committee recommended that every public health agency regularly and systematically collect, assemble, analyse, and make available information on the health of the community, including statistics… Read more

Heterogeneous mobile phone ownership and usage patterns in Kenya

The rapid adoption of mobile phone technologies in Africa is offering exciting opportunities for engaging with high-risk populations through mHealth programs, and the vast volumes of behavioral data being generated as people use their phones provide valuable data about human behavioral dynamics in these regions. Taking advantage of these opportunities requires an understanding of the… Read more

Public health in crisis-affected populations: a practical guide for decision-makers

Never before has it been clearer what interventions must be implemented to mitigate the adverse health consequences of wars and natural disasters, and what standards those interventions must strive to achieve; similarly, the range of interventions at our disposal has never been greater. Despite these advances, reviews of the global relief system suggest an ongoing… Read more

Natural Disasters, Armed Conflict, and Public Health

The effects of armed conflict and natural disasters on global public health are widespread. Much progress has been made in the technical quality, normative coherence, and efficiency of the health care response. But action after the fact remains insufficient. In the years ahead, the international community must address the root causes of these crises. Natural… Read more

A Systematic Review of Public Health Emergency Operations Centres (EOC)

A public health emergency operations centre (EOC) is a central location for coordinating operational information and resources for strategic management of public health emergencies and events. EOCs provide communication and information tools and services and a management system during a response to an emergency or event. They also provide other essential functions to support decision-making… Read more