Exploring Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance and Response Systems in Beijing, China: A Qualitative Study from the Health System Perspective

Jerome Lock-Wah-Hoon, Yang Zheng, Marieta Braks, Liselotte van Asten, Qiyong Liu, Preeti Sushama, Simone Doreleijers, Thomas Krafft, Wim van der Hoek, Ewout Fanoy, Quanyi Wang, Eva Pilot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Climate change may contribute to higher incidence and wider geographic spread of vector borne diseases (VBDs). Effective monitoring and surveillance of VBDs is of paramount importance for the prevention of and timely response to outbreaks. Although international regulations exist to support this, barriers and operational challenges within countries hamper efficient monitoring. As a first step to optimise VBD surveillance and monitoring, it is important to gain a deeper understanding of system characteristics and experiences in to date non-endemic regions at risk of becoming endemic in the future. Therefore, this study qualitatively analyses the nature and flexibility of VBD surveillance and response in Beijing. Methods: In this qualitative study, eleven experts working in Beijing’s vector-borne diseases surveillance and response system were interviewed about vector-borne disease surveillance, early warning, response, and strengths and weaknesses of the current approach. Results: Vector-borne disease surveillance occurs using passive syndromic surveillance and separate vector surveillance. Public health authorities use internet reporting networks to determine vector-borne disease risk across Beijing. Response toward a vector-borne disease outbreak is uncommon in this setting due to the currently low occurrence of outbreaks. Conclusions: A robust network of centralised institutions provides the continuity and flexibility needed to adapt and manage possible vector-borne disease threats. Opportunities exist for population-based health promotion and the integration of environment and climate monitoring in vector-borne disease surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8512
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2020


  • Beijing
  • China
  • climate change
  • health information system
  • international health regulations
  • outbreak
  • public health
  • vector-borne diseases
  • vector-borne disease
  • health information systems

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