Monitoring Public Health in Developing Countries

Monitoring Public Health in Developing Countries
Monitoring Public Health in Developing Countries

Monitoring Public Health in Developing Countries

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Monitoring Public Health in Developing Countries

The challenges associated with monitoring public health increase in developing countries. Due to a lack of a robust infrastructure in many developing nations, a considerable number of diseases and conditions go unmonitored. In today’s climate of global interconnectivity, the failure to detect an emerging threat in a developing country could very well result in a pandemic spreading around the world. This is one of several possible implications of inadequate disease surveillance. The Discussion this week is concerned with how inadequate surveillance might influence ethical decision making in developing countries.

Analyze the ethical considerations associated with insufficient surveillance. Consider your own position on who should be held responsible for public health in developing countries.

post an analysis of the ethical implications of not investigating diseases/conditions in developing countries. Formulate a position on who should be held responsible for establishing, maintaining, and monitoring public health surveillance systems in developing countries.


Monitoring Public Health in Developing Countries

Adequate surveillance of diseases is one of the ways that countries manage various diseases.  Ensuring that surveillance systems are in place has played a key role in the management of various diseases in most of the developed countries.  However, developing countries continue to experience rampant cases of diseases because of poor surveillance systems in place. This paper therefore, analyses the ethical implications of failing to investigate disease/conditions in developing countries as well as those responsible for establishing, maintaining and monitoring public health surveillance systems in these countries.

Failing to investigate diseases in developing world has various ethical implications to the people as well as to the governments. One of the ethical implications is respect.  It is through surveillance that various diseases affecting people such as communicable diseases can be identified and preventive strategies adopted (Carrel & Rennie, 2008).  Human life is precious and requires to be respected by the government. Failing to prevent and manage these diseases through surveillance causes unnecessary preventable deaths. This is unethical as there is no protection and safeguarding of people lives.

Lack of surveillance hampers the right of individuals to access quality healthcare. It is a right for all the people to have access to quality healthcare (Carrel & Rennie, 2008).  This right is not provided to many people in developing countries because of lack of investigation and surveillance of diseases that affect the people.  In developing countries, the time taken for a health condition to be reported to the authorities is long and this contributes to increased levels of infections and deaths. This is therefore unethical because, those responsible to ensure that all people receive quality healthcare are not up to their tasks.

Inadequate surveillance as well has ethical implications as it lead to inequality and unfairness in accessibility to healthcare.  Many of the people that have low income levels  and  those living in dilapidated conditions face challenges in accessing healthcare because of  lack of surveillance in comparison with those that have medium or higher levels of income.  This is an unethical practice that has contributed to increase in mortality rates among such individuals especially children and women that are more vulnerable (Carrel & Rennie, 2008).

Another ethical implication of lack of investigation is increased level of injustice in the society. This therefore, makes some people to feel abandoned and not cared for. This increases resentment and bitterness among the population hence the likelihood of resistance and as well loss of hope (Parrella et al., 2013). For instance, failing to report cases of outbreaks to the relevant authorities can be caused by lack of modalities for the people to voice their concerns. This therefore, causes increased spread of diseases and outbreaks that lead to higher levels of deaths.

Another ethical implication of failing to investigate diseases is increased incidences of corruption and lack of planning (Carrel & Rennie, 2008). Many people will be forced to pay bribes as they seek for medication and this increases the level of corruption. Failing to investigate diseases and conditions means that the authorities have poor planning policies on prevention and management of diseases in the developing countries.

The body responsible for establishing, maintaining, and monitoring public health surveillance systems in developing countries is the government. Governments of these countries have the responsibility to ensure that appropriate policies are implemented to ensure that enough measures are in place to investigate diseases and other conditions (Carrel & Rennie, 2008). The government is required to work closely with the public health institutions, private sector and other nongovernmental organizations to ensure that there is enough surveillance systems in the country to enhance provision of quality healthcare to all the people.  Government is expected to provide funding for such programs as one of the mechanisms or strategies of managing and preventing various diseases.

In conclusion, it is important that countries adopt preventive measures as a strategy to manage diseases. One of the ways is through surveillance of disease for early management. Developing countries lag behind because of lack of failing to put surveillance measures in place. The government is responsible in ensuring that appropriate policies are in place to investigate diseases. Governments as well provide financial support, advice as well as partnering with other stakeholders to ensure disease surveillance in their countries.


Carrel, M., & Rennie, S. (2008). Demographic and health surveillance: longitudinal ethical

Considerations. Retrieved from:

Parrella, A.,  et al., (2013). Healthcare providers’ knowledge, experience and challenges of            reporting adverse events following immunisation: a qualitative study.  BMC Health   Services Research, 13(1)1-12.

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