Elimination of tropical diseases: China is emerging as a key player

To meet the needs of globalization scenarios and progress on global health, a special collection of articles published in Infectious Diseases of Poverty on surveillance-response systems geared at the elimination of tropical diseases has been published. Xia Zhou summarizes the collection in this blog.

Overall, the collection consists of 22 articles focus on 11 different diseases, ranging from single diseases (such as clonorchiasis, dengue, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, H7N9 avian influenza, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, MERS-CoV, rabies, schistosomiasis and TB) to co-morbidity or syndemic with non-communicable diseases.

There are 13 original research articles, five scoping reviews, a commentary, a letter to the editor, an opinion piece and an editorial in the special collection, which cover four major aspects:

  • drug resistance
  • innovation and validation in the field of mathematical modelling;
  • elimination of infectious diseases; and
  • social media reports on disease outbreak notifications released by national health authorities.

The importance of surveillance-response systems, representing the final crucial steps towards achieving effective elimination of communicable diseases had caused significant attention from readers in three highly accessed articles.

The importance of surveillance-response systems, representing the final crucial steps towards achieving effective elimination of communicable diseases had caused significant attention from readers in three highly accessed articles.

The development of an innovative modelling approach entitled “Inferring the potential risks of H7N9 infection by spatiotemporally characterizing bird migration and poultry distribution in eastern China”, had the most views at 14,904, accessed on 31 August 2015.

Research on the social factors affecting the spread of infectious diseases entitled “Chinese social media reaction to the MERS-CoV and avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreaks” followed with 11,759 views.

With sustained efforts focusing on relevant and strategic information towards control and elimination of infectious diseases, Infectious Diseases of Poverty has become a leading journal in the field.

Analysis of the authors’ affiliations reveals that China is emerging as a key player in the control and elimination of tropical diseases.

Besides, seven different research priorities were identified, including dynamic mapping of the transmission of various diseases; providing tools in near real-time capture of population dynamics; modelling based on minimum, essential databases/datasets; implementation of mobile health (mHealth); development of more sensitive diagnostics; design of response packages tailored to different transmission settings and levels; and validation of surveillance and responses packages.

Analysis of the authors’ affiliations reveals that China is emerging as a key player in the control and elimination of tropical diseases.

Possible explanations include the fact that the 2012 and 2014 international conferences pertaining to surveillance-response mechanisms were both hosted by the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases in Shanghai and the Third Forum on Surveillance Response Systems Leading to Tropical Diseases Elimination is round the corner, coupled with China’s growing importance with regard to the control of infectious diseases.

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