FIGURE 2-1 Map of Iran.

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, © 2001 by Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

that border Iran—and thus can potentially affect the health of its people—include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Iraq (see Figure 2-1). In his presentation, Ardalan provided background information on surveillance in Iran, described the design and preliminary results of a surveillance system pilot project, identified the limitations and strengths of the surveillance system, and proposed future steps that could improve the surveillance.

Background on Surveillance

Surveillance data show that Iran has made great strides in improving health. According to Iran’s Statistical Center, for example, cases of acute diarrhea per year decreased dramatically between 1986 and 1999: from more than 1.6 million in 1986 to fewer than 115 thousand in 1999 (see Figure 2-2).

Among the foodborne diseases monitored for by Iran’s existing surveillance system are typhoid fever, cholera, botulism, and brucellosis. The system requires that any outbreak or epidemic be reported immediately,

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