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Health Surveillance and Disease Management / Noncommunicable Disease / CNCD Surveillance

Fourth Technical Conference on the Principles and Practice of Chronic Disease Surveillance

(Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico, 9–12 November 2007)

Activity of the Americas' Network for Chronic Disease Surveillance (AMNET)

AMNET Meeting in Torreón, Mexico, 2007

Bilingual Conference Flyer
(English-Spanish, 9 pp, PDF, 2 Mb)
- About AMNET

CARMEN   PAHO Chronic Disease Newsletter

CARMEN NCD Initiative/Network
- CARMEN Newsletter


Main Thrust of the Meeting: Capacity-building in a university environment, gathering professionals from the state of Coahuila and the Federal District in Mexico, as well as Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.


  1. Provide a basic understanding of the epidemiological, statistical, and public health methods needed to undertake surveillance of chronic disease and their risk factors.
  2. Provide an overall perspective of surveillance as evidence for health promotion practice.
  3. Provide basic tools to translate surveillance results into evidence and further into public health policy and action, with strong regional (Latin America) content aimed at addressing local issues.


  1. Modules provided basic information through lectures followed by discussion. The purpose of this was to promote information exchange between students and faculty. The different modules included:
    1. Environmental risk factors and health consequences
    2. Global initiatives in epidemiological surveillance of chronic diseases and risk factors
    3. Contribution of organized civil society to the process of chronic disease surveillance
    4. Trends in information-gathering for diet, obesity, and physical activity
    5. Overview of epidemiological bias and a catalog of questionnaire bias
    6. Principles of evaluation and knowledge translation
    7. Free communications
  2. Workshops were concurrent, left to the choice of the participant. Themes included:
    1. Surveillance systems based on hospital discharge and primary healthcare data
    2. Principles of evaluation and knowledge translation: From surveillance to action
    3. Principles and practice of surveillance of environmental risk factors and health consequences
    4. Principles of rates analysis and risk of chronic diseases
  3. Group discussion and breakfasts with experts provided time and space to facilitate information exchange and build networks among faculty and students.

Management Session

There was also a meeting between PAHO and the AMNET Management Committee to discuss joint work between PAHO, AMNET, and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on assessment of capacity for NCD surveillance at the country level. The WHO instrument for assessing the country capacity for response to NCDs is currently under revision in the Region of the Americas, initiated by PAHO with the purpose of being transformed into a tool that member countries can use to assess needs and gaps in the response to CNCDs. The part of the instrument dedicated to policy assessment is being jointly revised with PHAC; and there is a proposal for part of the surveillance instrument to be jointly revised by AMNET and PHAC.

Participants agreed to pursue the proposed topic and to assemble a working group comprised of representatives from AMNET; PAHO; the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC); PHAC; the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia; the University of Puerto Rico (UPR); and possibly the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The final product of this group should be the part of instrument that will support evaluation of surveillance capacity in the Region.


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