Obtaining information on diseases forms the first step towards prevention and paves the way for a healthier tomorrow. This report contains statistical data provided by WHO on selected infectious diseases such as cholera, influenza and malaria, aiding in decision-making and better health planning.
Globally, infectious diseases place a considerable burden on individuals and health care. Selected evidence-based infectious disease data and interpretation are useful for public health settings.
Importance of Infectious Diseases Data Reporting
Based on available data, we can distinct the difference between zero cases reported and no information available for a country regarding diseases. Decisions have also been made from these data, which are only providing an indication of the current status of officially reported infectious disease. Since each country is following it’s own method, huge reporting gaps and absence of incidence or prevalence calculation occurred.
Both epidemiological patterns and data-collection efforts in specific countries should be considered for data interpretation. Malaria and yellow fever are endemic to certain geographical regions but are extremely rare elsewhere. Few diseases are best tackled with preventive measures. Immunization results in vaccine-preventable diseases.
Due to the distance, poor transport facility, undeveloped communication infrastructures and shortage of skilled healthcare workers and laboratory facilities, many countries are still struggling to identify, diagnose and report infectious diseases.
H5N1 influenza and plague have high mortality rates whereas poliomyelitis and leprosy have low mortality rates. Mandatory reporting is essential because diseases with very small initial case numbers may cause devastating epidemics. To ensure that eradication efforts, case reporting is essential.
Role of Health Organizations
Diseases reporting, monitoring and controlling are carried out by International Health Regulations, countries and WHO correspondingly. Through WHO programmes, disease prevalence information as well as immunization coverage can be obtained.