Explained: What is a notifiable disease?

  1. Recently,South Delhi Municipal Corporation(SDMC) has initiated the process to notify malaria as notifiable disease.
  2. A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities. 
  3. This will allow authorities to gather information to monitor the disease, and provides early warning of possible outbreaks. 
  4. The process will also help the government to keep track and formulate a plan for elimination and control.In less infectious conditions,it improves information about the burden and distribution of disease. 
  5. The Centre has notified several diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, encephalitis, leprosy, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), plague, tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitis, measles among others.
  6. The onus of notifying any disease and the implementation lies with the state government.Any failure to report a notifiable disease is a criminal offence and the state government can take necessary actions against defaulters.
  7. Further,the World Health Organization(WHO) International Health Regulations,1969 also requires disease reporting to the WHO in order to help with its global surveillance and advisory role.