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Certificate Course in Public Health Surveillance

The course will contribute towards building a dynamic health workforce for Transforming Public Health Surveillance in the 21st century to ensure health security and promote health equity.


Health assessment has been highlighted as one of the three core functions of public health along with policy development and health assurance, in a 1988 landmark report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Public health surveillance, open called the cornerstone of public health practice, is an essential element of the health assessment function. Public health surveillance is the foundation for evidence informed and effective public health interventions. Surveillance is needed to understand and to monitor the epidemiology of health related events in order to set priorities and formulate strategies for appropriate public health actions. Surveillance system serves as an early warning system to identity disease outbreaks or public health emergencies; and as a tool to document impact of health interventions or to monitor progress towards specified public health goals. The perennial threat of influenza pandemic, increasing drug resistance of microbes and vectors, and the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa have shown the importance of social, societal and systems determinants of disease occurrence and the risk they pose to national and global health security. States need effective surveillance systems with enhanced capacity to understand social determinants of health, incorporating advancements in epi‐genetics and health informatics, with a health systems strengthening approach, in order to prevent, predict, detect and treat emerging and re‐emerging health threats. While the Low and Middle Income countries (LMICs) are still grappling with the unfinished agenda of communicable diseases; the epidemiologic and demographic transition of their population along with other factors is leading to constantly increasing burden of non‐communicable disease. To tackle these challenges and reach the health related development goals – health systems in these countries will need effective public health information and surveillance systems to efficiently channelize and optimally utilize the limited resources for better health. Strengthening of surveillance systems is also required to meet the surveillance and response core capacity standards for compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR) – 2005, and for national and global health security. This surveillance and response system strengthening need demands investment in human resource capacity building.

Aims & Objectives

The certificate course in public health surveillance, by Public Health Foundation of India, in collaboration with the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS), aims to build capacity of human resource in health care and allied sectors in the science and practice of public health surveillance, with a perspective of strengthening of the health system.

Course Design and Duration

The course is designed for a period of six months through E-Learning using computer based online program. It is a E-Learning online program, largely self‐taught and complemented with online lectures and study material.

Eligibility Criteria

The course would be open to graduate and postgraduate students in medical, veterinary and allied health fields; professionals working with national health programs ; academic institutions; NGOs in health sector; UN agencies; or anyone with a relevant background and keen interest in the science and practice of surveillance. Eligible candidates would be screened, based on their application and statement of purpose.

Course Content

The certificate course will have three modules with 16 sessions equivalent to 16 credits:

  • Fundamentals and recent advances in public health surveillance
  • Public health surveillance networks, collaborations and surveillance in special situations
  • Public health surveillance for health security and health equity

Candidates will be required to complete a mentored project during the course. The project will offer an opportunity for the candidates to identify and tackle a surveillance problem; engage with surveillance experts and produce an application oriented output.

Teaching and Training Methodology

The course utilizes a blended online teaching/learning technique. The basic course structure includes a combination of interactive online computer‐based sessions, weekly online virtual lectures, assessments and recommended readings from journal articles and text books in a modular format. Online learning sessions would be conducted by designated faculty members and participants would be able to log on from their laptops / personal computers.


Assignments and examinations at pre‐determined intervals will serve to assess and provide feedback to the students. Students will be evaluated at the end of each module; through a final Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) ‐ based examination and evaluation of their project work at the end of the course.

Course Coordinator:
Program Officer:
  • Starts: 31 Jan, 2019
  • Duration: 6 Months
  • Brochure: Download
  • Program Fee: Indian: 18000 INR , South Asian Candidates : SAARC states "Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka".

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    300 USD , Other International Candidates: 600 USD