oa South African Health Review - Communicable diseases surveillance and outbreak investigation in South Africa - review

Volume 2018 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



Surveillance for communicable diseases is the first and most important step in addressing public health challenges. Surveillance initiates awareness of the magnitude of public health problems, provides evidence for advocacy and action, facilitates accurate planning for service delivery and allows for monitoring of the impact of interventions. In-country disease surveillance programmes are a stipulated component of the International Health Regulations (2005), to which South Africa is a signatory. This chapter outlines epidemiological trends for a spectrum of communicable diseases affecting the South African public, thus allowing assessment of the impact of health interventions. The findings support the need for ongoing human and financial resources. The National Public Health Institutes of South Africa Bill will broaden the range of conditions under surveillance by including non-communicable disease, environmental health and injury and violence prevention. This will ensure that these growing public health threats and interventions to ameliorate their impact, are monitored.

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