Dengue Surveillance System in Brazil: A Qualitative Study in the Federal District

Marco Angelo, Walter Massa Ramalho, Helen Gurgel , Nayara Belle Nova Da Costa, Eva Pilot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dengue’s increasing trends raise concerns over global health and pose a challenge to the Brazilian health system, highlighting the necessity of a strong surveillance system to reduce morbidity, mortality, and the economic burden of this disease. Although the Brazilian surveillance system reports more dengue cases than any other country, recent studies suggest that non-reported cases are the majority. The aim of the study is to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the Brazilian surveillance system, particularly looking at the functioning of data collection and reporting. This was done through qualitative semi-structured interviews with 17 experts in dengue surveillance, supported by quantitative data from the official notification system. To select the interviewees, purposive and theoretical sampling were used. Data were analyzed through thematic analysis. The research highlighted that a lack of human and technological resources in healthcare units and surveillance departments slows down the notification process and data analysis. Due to a lack of integration in the private sector, the surveillance system fails to detect the socioeconomic profile of the patients. Investments in public healthcare, human and technological resources for surveillance and better integration in the private healthcare system, and vector surveillance may improve dengue surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2062
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020


  • Dengue
  • health geography
  • public health
  • qualitative research
  • surveillance
  • tropical diseases
  • underreporting
  • urban health
  • infectious diseases
  • health information
  • dengue
  • CARE

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