Notifiable Diseases: A Time and Geographic Analysis of Cases in Sri Lanka between 2005 and 2011: The Development of a High Fidelity Modeling Approach

Irosha PERERA, Estie KRUGER, Pubudu LIYANAGE, Marc TENNANT

Abstract


Notifiable diseases are a significant burden to health systems across the globe, particularly in developing countries. Sri Lanka is a developing economy of about 20.3 million people spread across a fundamentally industry-driven economy island state, of approximately 65610 square kilometers. This study examines the data for notifiable diseases for Sri Lanka through 2005-2011 inclusive to identify geographic trends in disease outbreaks and to document any indicators that may assist in predicting future outbreaks. The aim of the research was to develop tools to assist in the prediction (or early warning) of future outbreaks. Over the study period there were a total of 280,000 cases of the 18 notifiable conditions. The three most common conditions were Dysentery, Leptospirosis and Dengue Fever which made up 207,000 (74%) of all cases. The incidence of these common notifiable conditions showed significant variability over time. In particular, a significant outbreak of Dengue fever was seen through 2009 and 2010 (with a diminishing tail in 2011). Chronologic and geographic shifts in notifiable disease patterns can be identified though the application of modern Geographic Information Systems. The analysis presented describes in high-fidelity the outbreaks of three common diseases for Sri Lanka over the study period. The addition of further data inputs (eg weather data) would allow the models to be more predictive of outbreaks and would assist in resource allocation and planning.

Keywords


Dental Public Health; notifiable conditions; Sri Lanka.

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