Conceptual framework of public health surveillance and action and its application in health sector reform

McNabb, Scott J. N.; Chungong, Stella; Ryan, Mike; Wuhib, Tadesse; Nsubuga, Peter; Alemu, Wondi; Carande-Kulis, Vilma; Rodier, Guenael
January 2002
BMC Public Health;2002, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p2
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Because both public health surveillance and action are crucial, the authors initiated meetings at regional and national levels to assess and reform surveillance and action systems. These meetings emphasized improved epidemic preparedness, epidemic response, and highlighted standardized assessment and reform.Methods: To standardize assessments, the authors designed a conceptual framework for surveillance and action that categorized the framework into eight core and four support activities, measured with indicators.Results: In application, country-level reformers measure both the presence and performance of the six core activities comprising public health surveillance (detection, registration, reporting, confirmation, analyses, and feedback) and acute (epidemic-type) and planned (management-type) responses composing the two core activities of public health action. Four support activities - communications, supervision, training, and resource provision - enable these eight core processes. National, multiple systems can then be concurrently assessed at each level for effectiveness, technical efficiency, and cost.Conclusions: This approach permits a cost analysis, highlights areas amenable to integration, and provides focused intervention. The final public health model becomes a district-focused, action-oriented integration of core and support activities with enhanced effectiveness, technical efficiency, and cost savings. This reform approach leads to sustained capacity development by an empowerment strategy defined as facilitated, process-oriented action steps transforming staff and the system.


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