Mixed surveillance means combining passive and active surveillance systems. This can work well, leading to better monitoring of communicable diseases and other health problems. Disease control programmes for HIV/AIDS, polio and malaria use a combination of passive and active surveillance systems.
So far, we have described to you the background needed to understand surveillance systems. The box below summarises the features of a high-quality public health surveillance system in any country.
Features of good public health surveillance
A high-quality public health surveillance system:
- Involves and encourages the community to report all cases of diseases and other health problems
- Uses both active and passive surveillance for effective disease control and prevention
- Collects only useful data, using a simple data collection method
- Uses laboratory services to confirm clinical diagnosis of disease
- Reports data to the higher level when required and without delay
- Quickly takes the right actions to improve services or programmes after data are reported.