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Epidemiologia e Serviços de Saúde

versión impresa ISSN 1679-4974versión On-line ISSN 2237-9622


TEIXEIRA, Maria da Glória et al. Sentinel areas: a monitoring strategy in Public Health. Epidemiol. Serv. Saúde [online]. 2003, vol.12, n.1, pp.21-28. ISSN 1679-4974.

Because available techniques for monitoring the health situation have shown to be insufficient, this article discusses methods to improve these techniques based on the development of new strategies of data collection that permit their use by local health systems. The methodological basis of a strategy of health monitoring using well-defined inner-urban spaces, called sentinel areas, is presented. The proposed strategy permits the collection of social, economic, behavioral, and biological information essential for public health practice, including a better approach to the reality of complex social spaces. The authors present an experience developed in the city of Salvador, the capital of Bahia state, Brazil, which has been used to evaluate the epidemiological impact of an environment sanitation program. Criteria for area selection are discussed, as well as the potential use of this strategy by health services, as it allows the use of epidemiological resources and their results for improving health intervention programs in a timely manner.

Palabras clave : sentinel area; monitoring; public health; sentinel surveillance.

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