To assess the impact of the IDSR in Africa, we used pre- and post- IDSR meningococcal meningitis surveillance data from Burkina Faso (1996-2002 and 2003-2007). IDSR implementation was correlated with a median reduction of 2 weeks to peak of outbreaks (25(th) percentile 1 week; 75(th) percentile 4 weeks). IDSR was also correlated with a reduction of 43 meningitis cases per 100,000 (25(th)-40: 75(th)-129). Assuming the correlations between reductions in time to peak of outbreaks and cases are related, the cost-effectiveness of IDSR was $23 per case averted (25(th)-$30; 75(th)--cost saving), and $98 per meningitis-related death averted (25(th)-$140: 75(th)--cost saving).
Effective surveillance for infectious diseases is an essential component of public health. There are few studies estimating the cost-effectiveness of starting or improving disease surveillance. We present a cost-effectiveness analysis the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy in Africa.
We cannot absolutely claim that the measured differences were due to IDSR. We believe, however, that it is reasonable to claim that IDSR can improve the cost-effectiveness of public health surveillance.