DMPQ- . Discuss how Covid pandemic has encouraged the demand of disease surveillance system in the future .

Surveillance is the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcome specific data for use in planning, implementing and evaluating public health policies and practices.

A disease surveillance system serves two key functions; early warning of potential threats to public health and programme monitoring functions which may be disease specific or multi-disease in nature. In the second half of Twentieth century, as part of the global efforts for smallpox eradication and then to tackle many emerging and re-emerging diseases, many countries recognised the importance and started to invest in and strengthen the disease surveillance system.

Disease Surveillance System in India

  • A major cholera outbreak in Delhi in 1988 and the Surat plague outbreak of 1994, nudged the Government of India to launch the National Surveillance Programme for Communicable Diseases in 1997.
  • However, this initiative remained rudimentary till, in wake of the SARS outbreak, in 2004, India launched the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP).
  • The focus under the IDSP was to increase government funding for disease surveillance, strengthen laboratory capacity, train the health workforce and have at least one trained epidemiologist in every district of India.
  • With that, between 2004 and 2019, nearly every passing year, more outbreaks were detected and investigated than the previous year.

Need For Coordinated Action

It is also time to ensure coordinated actions between the State government and municipal corporation to develop joint action plans and assume responsibility for public health and disease surveillance.

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