What is Disease Surveillance?
Disease surveillance is an information-based activity involving the collection, analysis and interpretation of large volumes of data originating from a variety of sources.
The information collated is then used in a number of ways to
- Evaluate the effectiveness of control and preventative health measures
- Monitor changes in infectious agents e.g. trends in development of antimicrobial resistance
- Support health planning and the allocation of appropriate resources within the healthcare system.
- Identify high risk populations or areas to target interventions
- Provide a valuable archive of disease activity for future reference.
To be effective, the collection of surveillance data must be standardized on a national basis and be made available at local, regional and national level. HPSC is an essential communication point in forecasting and responding to disease outbreaks and incidents of regional, national and international significance.