The ‏Necessity of Revising Communicable Disease Surveillance Programs in the World: Lessons from COVID-19 for Decision Makers

Nilowfar Salighehdar-Iran, Habibeh Matin, Jafar Alilou, Rahim Aali
2020 hormozgan medical journal  
witnessed the first cases of the SARS-Cov-2 virus in Wuhan (China). In less than four months, it spread quickly to almost every country across the world (1, 2). According to the WHO daily reports on May 18, 2020, about 4.5 million people were infected with COVID-19 and 300 thousand people were died throughout the world (3). Although more than 80% of the new virus is genetically similar to the SARS-Cov-1 virus, it has unknown functional characteristics. The unknown features of COVID-19 disease
more » ... COVID-19 disease caused difficulties for its prevention and treatment. Furthermore, regarding the scientific and practical uncertainty around the virus, deciding about choosing the best method of prevention and treatment is difficult (4). The virus is characterized by a high rate of spread, and. Of course, all around the world none of the health decisionmakers and/or researchers was expecting that one day the world would be engaged with such a contagious disease. Decision-makers of health programs should have been considered the SARS-Cov and MERS-Cov epidemics as the prognosis of larger epidemics (5). After the occurrence of two major epidemics during the past two decades, some researchers were concerned about the possibility of a new epidemic. The past has not been taken too seriously. COVID-19 pandemic is a big surprise for healthcare systems all around the world (6). It's more than five decades that the priority of decisionmaking and operational planning is focused on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). First, it was originated in developed countries and gradually expanded to the developing countries. Although it did not pose a serious problem for global programs, the recent pandemic showed that infectious diseases can still pose a global risk and cause social problems in addition to changes in health structures. These diseases can exacerbate the disability caused by NCDs and take the lives of more people. With these in mind, health decision-makers can take the following points as lessons learned from the recent crisis: 1. Infectious diseases and NCDs should be considered as one integrated priority and be a priority in planning. 2. Special attention should be paid to infectious diseases caused by emerging factors. 3. Health infrastructures necessary for surveillance and control of infectious diseases should be provided. 4. Attempts should be made to include health literacy, as an important precursor, in planning for controlling infectious diseases. 5. It is indispensable to note that from now on, infectious diseases are not limited to developing and underdeveloped societies. The risk of infectious diseases can be even higher for developed societies. As reported by the WHO, the rates of morbidity and mortality in developed countries are twice than of developing and underdeveloped countries. 6. It seems that along with the scientific and technological developments of human societies, the emergence and/or re-emergence of new pathogenic factors with higher pathogenicity and higher virulence is possible. As such, long-term measures should be considered to prevent the occurrence of new epidemics. Moreover, early identification methods should be developed, and effective methods of disease control should be considered. 7. Some of the risk factors that may cause an increased prevalence of biological diseases throughout the world
doi:10.5812/hmj.107169 fatcat:yfqjivc4uvhctj5ry4tcw6n2pq