Advancing Public Health Surveillance’s Role in Tackling Health Inequalities


This seminar will discuss the importance of health inequalities and how, by closely monitoring and documenting them, public health surveillance provides the foundation for informed decision-making and targeted interventions.

Hosted by

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)’s Data, Surveillance and Foresight Branch (DSFB) and the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID)

Date and time: October 31, 2023 | 1:00 to 2:00pm Eastern Time / 12:00 to 1:00pm Central Time

Language: This seminar will be in English.


Seminar will be held on Zoom. Speakers have approximately 30 minutes to present their material, followed by approximately 15 minutes for discussion and questions from attendees. Presentation materials in English and French will be distributed through NCCID media channels.


Monitoring health inequalities through public health surveillance is essential for building a Canadian healthcare system that is fair and equitable. The systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of health data across different populations and communities helps to identify disparities in health outcomes, access to care, and the underlying social and structural determinants of health. 

Public health surveillance systems play a key role in providing the evidence to support decision-making on public health interventions that can reduce health inequalities that disproportionately impact marginalized communities, including Indigenous Peoples. Monitoring and analyzing health inequalities supports the evaluation of impacts such interventions and efficient resource allocation to communities where they are needed most. There has been an increasing recognition of the importance of health equity and disaggregated data within public health surveillance in the last two decades. Integrating a health equity lens in our public health surveillance systems will contribute towards creating a more equitable healthcare system that promotes the health and well-being of all individuals and communities, ensuring that no one is left behind.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the relationships between public health surveillance, health inequalities, and population health;
  • Understand Canadian and international examples that demonstrate how the monitoring and assessment of health inequalities informs public health action; and
  • Understand contemporary trends in health inequalities, their likely causes, and how they impact the future of public health surveillance.
  • Elissa Giang, Acting Senior Epidemiologist, DSFB, PHAC
  • Dr. Wendy Xie, Knowledge Translation Project Manager, NCCID


Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi, MPH, Sc.D.

Professor and Division Head of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Edwin S. H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children, Hospital for Sick Children

Access instructions

All instructions for the seminar series will be posted on the Eventbrite registration page and will be emailed to all registrants prior to the event.

Following the event, recordings and slides for each seminar will be distributed through NCCID media channels.

Accreditation statement

Surveillance Advances is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Surveillance Advances is also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors.

Past Webinars

Surveillance Advances launched in September 2023 with a discussion about the foundational concepts of public health surveillance and the future opportunities that lie ahead. Subsequent seminars featured topics related to health inequalities (seminar 2),  data science (seminar 3),  maternal and newborn health (seminar 4), and injury surveillance (seminar 5). For a complete list of seminars and to view their recordings, please visit the Surveillance Advances webcasts page.