Public Health Surveillance

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In the seventies of the last century many experts thought that the fight against infectious diseases was ended. During the last two decades, this opinion has been reversed, and there is now a renewed appreciation of the importance of communicable disease. Infectious diseases cause 63% of all childhood deaths and 48% of premature deaths . The dramatic increase in international travel and trade in recent years has provided opportunities for diseases to spread across geopolitical and international boundaries at exponential rates as demonstrated by the outbreaks of Swine flu and avian influenza The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is at special risk of occurrence and spread of a group of infectious diseases because of its long borders, close proximity…show more content…
Public health surveillance is the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice . In addition to monitoring the known existing communicable diseases, the aims of surveillance includes detection of epidemics, especially detection in the early stage, essential for the control of epidemics of infectious diseases , . Many epidemiological and statistical studies have investigated the detection of epidemics through…show more content…
There are many definitions of GIS. GIS are often described as an organized collection of computer hardware, software, geographical data and personnel designed to efficiently capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze and display all forms of geographically referenced information. Geographical information systems and maps are valuable in strengthening the whole process of epidemiological surveillance information management and analyses. A GIS provides an excellent means of collecting, updating and managing epidemiological surveillance and related information. It can store, handle and geographically integrate large amounts of information from different sources, programs and sectors. It serves as a common platform for convergence of multi-disease surveillance activities. Standardized geo-referencing of epidemiological data facilitates standardized approaches to data management. As such, a GIS can serve as an entry point for integrating disease surveillance activities where appropriate. It facilitates the convergence of multi-sectoral data, including epidemiological surveillance information, population information, environmental information and health and other resources into a common platform for analyses. It provides an excellent means of visualizing and analyzing epidemiological data, thus revealing trends, dependencies and interrelationships

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