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Sozial- und Präventivmedizin

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 361–368 | Cite as

Lessons for surveillance in the 21st century: A historical perspective from the past five millennia

  • Bernard C. K. Choi
  • Anita W. P. Pak
Original Articles

Summary

This paper reviews some major epidemics in the past 5000 years in human history and derives 12 lessons in the context of epidemiologic surveillance. The corresponding 12 challenges proposed in this paper could be used to guide us in building a better and more comprehensive surveillance system in the 21st century. This will be achieved by: continuing the evolvement and improvement of surveillance; maintaining on an ongoing basis; being systematic; being population-based; including risk and intervention indicators in the data base; more efficient data analysis; stimulating etiologic research; improving forecasting capability; linking to development of intervention; evaluating the intervention; better ways of information dissemination; and dissemination without prejudice.

Key-Words

Historial review Surveillance system Epidemiologic methods Conceptual framework Data interpretation Statistical 

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Artikel betrachtet einige wichtige Epidemien der letzten 5000 Jahre in der Geschichte der Menschheit und zieht daraus 12 Folgerungen in Zusammenhang mit epidemiologischen Beobachtungen (Surveillance). Die entsprechenden 12 Herausforderungen könnten dazu dienen, im 21. Jahrhundert ein besseres und umfassenderes beobachtungs- oder Surveillancesystem aufzubauen. Dies kann erreicht werden, indem wir: die Entwicklung und Verbesserung der Beobachtungspraxis fortsetzen, eine fortlaufende Grundlagenerhebung aufrechterhalten, systematisch und bevölkerungsbezogen vorgehen, Risiko- und Interventionsindikatoren in den Datenbanken berücksichtigen, effizientere Datenanalysen betreiben, Ursachenforschung anregen, die Prognosefähigkeiten verbessern, eine direkte Verbindung zu Interventionen herstellen, die Interventionen evaluieren, Massnahmen zur Informationsstreuung verbessern und unbefangen Informationen verbreiten.

Résumé

On trouve, dans ce document, une revue de quelques unes des grandes épidémles survenues au cours de 5000 dernières années de l'histoire de l'Homme. Douze leçons en sont tirées dans le contexte de la surveillance épidémiologique. Les douze impératifs correspondants proposés dans ce document pourraient servir d'orientation pour établir un système de surveillance plus adéquat et mieux intégré au XXIe siècle. Cela pourra se faire en: poursuivant le développement et l'amélioration de la surveillance; son maintien de façon permanente; sa systématisation; sa représentativité; l'inclusion d'indicateurs de risques et d'interventions dans la base de données; une analyse plus efficace des données; la promotion de la recherche étiologique; l'amélioration de la capacité de prévision; l'établissement de liens avec le développement de moyens d'intervention; l'évaluation des interventions; l'établissement de meilleurs outils d'information; la diffusion sans crainte de préjudice.

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and ControlHealth CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Traffic Injury Research Foundation of CanadaOttawa

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