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Health Care Surveillance

In: Science

Submitted By Ghannima
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Surveillance provides significant information for monitoring the health of the public, identifying public health problems, and triggering action to prevent further illness. Such information is vital to the nation's health, and its analysis and dissemination frequently affects everyday life and clinical practice. Public health surveillance also provides data about the incidence of disease in the community. The data can help raise or lower the threshold of clinical suspicion for a particular infectious disease, which encourages early detection and appropriate treatment. Additionally, clinical side effects are avoided, in addition to unnecessary treatment, or treatment for the wrong disease. There are several criteria to determine the significance of a public health event and the need to have that health event under surveillance. Health events that affect many people or require large expenditures of resources clearly have important public health consequences. However, health events that affect relatively few individuals may also cause concern, particularly if the events cluster in time and place. Finally, the public health significance of an event is influenced by its preventability. These measures of importance do not take into account the effect of existing control measures. For example, the number of cases of vaccine-preventable illness has declined following the implementation of school immunization laws, and the public health importance of these diseases would be underestimated by case counts alone. In such instances, it may be possible to estimate the number of anticipated cases in the absence of control programs. According to Ndiaye, Quick, Sanda & Niandou (2003), “strengthening surveillance would help to ensure the detection and reporting of disease cases and would complement current surveillance activities. It should be noted that community-based...

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