Arch Iran Med. 2019;22(7): 361-368.
  Abstract View: 273
  PDF Download: 286

Original Article

The Communicable Diseases Surveillance System in Iran: Challenges and Opportunities

Ghobad Moradi 1, Heshmatollah Asadi 2, Mohammad-Mehdi Gouya 3, Mahmood Nabavi 3, Abbas Norouzinejad 3, Mohammad Karimi 4, Amjad Mohamadi-Bolbanabad 1 *

1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
2 Department of Public Health, School of Health and Nutrition, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran
3 Iranian Center for Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health & Medical Education, Tehran, Iran
4 Vice Chancellor for Social, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran


Background: The aim of this study was to determine the challenges and opportunities of the Communicable Diseases Surveillance System (CDSS) in Iran.

Methods: This qualitative study was conducted using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions (FGD) with 64 participants from October 2016 to April 2017. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit participants. The collected data were analyzed via the content analysis method. Data analysis was performed using MAXQDA10 software.

Results: The results of this qualitative study were categorized in two parts: Challenges and opportunities. The CDSS is facing challenges in the fields of stewardship, reporting, information analysis, information, interventions, and education. Good infrastructures and structure, the technical support provided by the Centre for Communicable Disease Control (CCDC), the achievements of the CDSS, and the suitable electronic systems are among the opportunities of CDSS.

Conclusion: The results of this study showed that CDSS has several major challenges. Authorities and policymakers must not ignore communicable diseases and their management tools, including CDSS because of their focus on non-communicable diseases. Some important strategies to overcome the challenges of CDSS can be the following: motivating policy makers to put emphasis on communicable diseases as a national security issue, the ratification and modification of laws and regulations on reporting, the involvement of the CDSS in the accreditation of hospitals and the renewal of the license for healthcare professionals, and motivating organizations outside the health sector to participate in the programs through inter-institutional agreements.

Keywords: Challenge, Communicable diseases, Iran, Surveillance system
Cite this article as: Moradi G, Asadi H, Gouya MM, Nabavi M, Norouzinejad A, Karimi M, et al. The communicable diseases surveillance system in Iran: challenges and opportunities. Arch Iran Med. 2019;22(7):361–368.
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Submitted: 02 Sep 2018
Accepted: 18 May 2019
ePublished: 01 Jul 2019
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