Volume 12, Number 7—July 2006
Global Public Health Surveillance under New International Health Regulations
|Attribute||Attribute details||Relevance to IHR 2005|
|Usefulness||Contribution to prevention and control of adverse health-related events||Design and scope imply improved usefulness compared with IHR 1969 but attribute must be evaluated after IHR 2005 has operated for a period|
|Sensitivity||Proportion of true events detected by system and ability to detect outbreaks||Specifies notification of all potential public health emergencies of international concern (PHEIC) and provides multiple pathways to increase sensitivity|
|Timeliness||Speed between steps particularly from event onset to response||Specifies assessment within 48 h and reporting within 24 h by state parties and prescribes immediate reporting of events at local and intermediate levels within state parties|
|Stability||Reliability and availability of surveillance system||All state parties must notify all potential PHEIC from June 2007 and establish capacity to detect, assess, and report events by 2012, with potential extensions to 2016|
|Simplicity||Simplicity of structure and ease of operation||Architecture of surveillance system is streamlined and transparent, especially at international level|
|Flexibility||Ability to adapt to changing information needs and operating conditions||Use of risk assessment criteria means that surveillance applies to new as well as established disease threats|
|Acceptability||Willingness of persons and organizations to participate||Establishment of surveillance in international law represents commitment by state parties to participate|
|Data quality||Completeness and validity of recorded data||Specifies information to be reported and includes provisions for validation and assessment of all reports to separate rumors from real events|
|Positive predictive value||Proportion of reported events that are true events||Oriented toward high sensitivity with correspondingly low specificity and positive predictive value, so WHO will not declare most notified events to be PHEIC|
|Representativeness||Ability to describe events over time and their distribution by place and person||Likely to be increased after validation and assessment, as for data quality|
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