The challenge to know and control: Disease outbreak surveillance and alerts in China and India

Sara E. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Since the revisions to the International Health Regulations (IHR) in 2005, much attention has been turned to how states, particularly developing states, will address core capacity requirements. The question often examined is how states with poor health systems can strengthen their capacity to identify and verify public health emergencies of international concern. A core capacity requirement is that by 2012 states will have a surveillance and response network that operates from the local community to the national level. Much emphasis has turned to the health system capacity required for this task. In this article, I seek to understand the political capacity to perform this task. This article considers how the world's two most populous states,1 China and India, have sought to communicate outbreak events in times of crisis and calm. I consider what this reporting performance tells us of their capacity to meet their IHR obligations given the two countries differing political institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-716
Number of pages22
JournalGlobal Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • infectious diseases
  • political regime
  • risk communication
  • surveillance
  • transparency

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