WHO | Public health surveillance

Public health surveillance is the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice.

Such surveillance can:

  • serve as an early warning system for impending public health emergencies;
  • document the impact of an intervention, or track progress towards specified goals; and
  • monitor and clarify the epidemiology of health problems, to allow priorities to be set and to inform public health policy and strategies.

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