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Surveillance of Tropical Diseases

Tropical Medicine

Surveillance of Tropical Diseases

The progress in health responses and improvement in the delivery of basic health services to the most vulnerable population has shown positive impact on control and prevention of infectious diseases worldwide.

Tropical diseases

Tropical diseases comprise of a group of infectious diseases affecting primarily the poorest segments of tropical and subtropical countries. Tropical diseases are major cause of morbidity and mortality in resource-limited and endemic countries.Patchy and erratic occurrences of tropical diseases have differing priorities in developing countries at various levels of public health systems. Public health burden and challenges associated with programmes created to achieve sustained control and ultimate elimination of major tropical diseases persist despite growing logistical support and international funding offered by the World Health Organization (WHO), multilateral agencies, philanthropic organisations and others. Focus lies tocritically examine prevailing challenges and identify collaborative opportunities and approaches for elimination of several infectious tropical diseases.
Effective and timely surveillance with tailored responses reflect the ability of the healthcare system to help in developing public health policy and implementing pragmatic action in control and elimination of infectious tropical diseases for effective and sustainable development. Various stakeholders like research community, policy makers and implementers have recently embarked on elucidating and assessing the micro-epidemiology involved in prevention and eventual elimination of diseases. Sharing relevant knowledge and experience; discussing novel approaches towards establishing integrated surveillance-response platforms and networks can assist in efforts to control, prevent and eliminate major tropical diseases.

Importance of Surveillance for Tropical Diseases

Surveillance is aimed at discovery, investigation and elimination of transmission, prevention and treatment of infectious tropical diseases. The key feature of effective surveillance-response systems and dissemination of reliable information on prevalence, incidence, epidemiology, spatio-temporal distribution and disease-burden is essential for control, prevention and elimination of tropical diseases. Timely dissemination of surveillance data can improve planning, implementation and evaluation of public health practice through sentinel surveillance, health facility-based or community-based surveillance, laboratory-based surveillance and disease-specific surveillance. Effective public health responses and timely approaches for final substantiation of claimed eradication depends upon the ability of health systems to provide accurate information for action. The desired reduction in mortality, disability and morbidity of targeted diseases depends on the generated information and timely action contributing to the performance of the surveillance and response systems.
Effective surveillance systems based on the minimum essential data concept serves to identify standard case definitions and report priority diseases; design public health response packages for different endemic settings; collect and implement surveillance data to alert and trigger local public health action; investigate, monitor and confirm suspected outbreaks and public health events; analyze and interpret data collected in outbreak investigations; implement appropriate responses and approaches; obtain feedback from various levels of the health system. Strong surveillance system facilitates elimination programmes and improves detection, notification and launching of public health response within health systems. Scientists, diseases control managers and experts from different disciplines and countries through surveillance response system for elimination of tropical diseases discuss promising experience of surveillance-response approaches and the avenues to be pursued in the future. The basic components of the surveillance-response system have been identified as dynamic mapping of transmission, real-time capture of population dynamics, minimum essential database or dataset based model, implementing sensitive diagnostics, designing effective response packages tailored for different transmission settings and levels, validation of response approaches and packages. Highly efficient programme management, higher coverage of intervention, cost-effective surveillance and response systems are encouraged to sustain, maintain and improve the efficiency in disease elimination.

Online Course at JLI

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program – Advanced PG Diploma in Tropical Medicine, Surveillance and Immunization to help in tropical disease control and prevention.
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