Surveillance system integration: reporting the results of a global multicountry survey

E. D. Carter, D. E. Stewart*, E. E. Rees, J. E. Bezuidenhoudt, V. Ng, S. Lynes, J. C. Desenclos, T. Pyone, A. C.K. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Currently, there is no comprehensive picture of the global surveillance landscape. This survey examines the current state of surveillance systems, levels of integration, barriers and opportunities for the integration of surveillance systems at the country level, and the role of national public health institutes (NPHIs). Study design: This was a cross-sectional survey of NPHIs. Methods: A web-based survey questionnaire was disseminated to 110 NPHIs in 95 countries between July and August 2022. Data were descriptively analysed, stratified by World Health Organization region, World Bank Income Group, and self-reported Integrated Disease Surveillance (IDS) maturity status. Results: Sixty-five NPHIs responded. Systems exist to monitor notifiable diseases and vaccination coverage, but less so for private, pharmaceutical, and food safety sectors. While Ministries of Health usually lead surveillance, in many countries, NPHIs are also involved. Most countries report having partially developed IDS. Surveillance data are frequently inaccessible to the lead public health agency and seldomly integrated into a national public health surveillance system. Common challenges to establishing IDS include information technology system issues, financial constraints, data sharing and ownership limitations, workforce capacity gaps, and data availability. Conclusions: Public health surveillance systems across the globe, although built on similar principles, are at different levels of maturity but face similar developmental challenges. Leadership, ownership and governance, supporting legal mandates and regulations, as well as adherence to mandates, and enforcement of regulations are critical components of effective surveillance. In many countries, NPHIs play a significant role in integrated disease surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health
Volume231
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • Communicable disease control
  • Communicable diseases
  • Integrated disease surveillance
  • Population health surveillance
  • Surveillance

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