Understanding India's urban dengue surveillance: A qualitative policy analysis of Hyderabad district

Eva Pilot*, G. V. S. Murthy, Vasileios Nittas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)


Dengue's re-emerging epidemiology poses a major global health threat. India contributes significantly to the global communicable disease burden has been declared highly dengue-endemic, exposing public health authorities to severe challenges. Our study aims to provide a deeper understanding of India's urban dengue surveillance policies as well as to explore the organisation, functioning and integration of existing disease control pillars. We conducted a qualitative regional case study, consisting of semi-structured expert interviews and observational data, covering the urban region of Hyderabad in South India. Our findings indicate that Hyderabad's dengue surveillance system predominantly relies on public reporting units, neglecting India's large private health sector. The surveillance system requires further strengthening and additional efforts to efficiently integrate existing governmental initiatives at all geographical levels and administrative boundaries. We concluded with recommendations for improved consistency, accuracy, efficiency and reduction of system fragmentation to enhance the integration of dengue surveillance and improved health information in urban India. Finally, our study underlines India's overall need to increase investment in public health and health infrastructures. That requires coordinated and multi-level action targeting the development of a competent, effective and motivated public health cadre, as well as truly integrated surveillance and epidemic response infrastructure, for dengue and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1702-1717
Number of pages16
JournalGlobal Public Health
Issue number11
Early online date21 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • dengue
  • urban health
  • India
  • surveillance
  • policy integration
  • health information
  • International Health Regulations

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