APH 1999, 57, 311-324:

Notification of communicable diseases.

F. Van Loock

Keywords: surveillance, notifications, mandatory-reporting, legislation

Reporting of statutory conditions is a very useful tool in identifying outbreaks. Just as any other surveillance system it requires the use of the collected information, the control of identified problems and the feedback of results to the data-providers. Several reports already indicated that reporting could vastly be improved, in the Flemish as in the French Community. For Brussels a large part of not notifying could be due to the complex situation, where up to now it remains unclear what disease needs reporting to what authority. For clinical laboratories the EPILABO software-tool developed at the Scientific Institute of Public Health - Louis Pasteur (IPH) now integrates the capacity to forward the requested information to the health inspection. 

Comparison with other countries shows the need in each of the Belgian Communities to improve surveillance and control of infectious diseases. In order to provide correct data about our country and its communities, integration of information from various sources remains necessary.

lmprovements could be achieved through a better training of graduating physicians on their future public health role, through a better communication of the regulations and through a clear legislative framework. This is needed to comply with EU, WHO and other international requirements.

The regulations in the French Community (which are in progress) needs updating and the situation in Brussels needs to be clarified.