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Istituto Superiore di Sanità
EpiCentro - Epidemiology for public health
Epidemiology for public health - ISS

General information

Included in the list of surveillance systems and registries identified by the Prime Ministerial Decree of 3 March 2017, the “Surveillance system for the main determinants of health in children aged 0-2 years” is promoted by the Ministry of Health and coordinated by the ISS, which focuses on monitoring certain aspects relating to the health of children aged 0 to 2 years. That includes key aspects across the maternity pathway (e.g. periconceptional intake of folic acid, recommended behaviours during gestation and breastfeeding) and others that are recognized to be important for the health of young children, such as vaccinations, correct position in the cot and early reading.


As part of the Surveillance, a questionnaire is administered to mothers when they take their children for vaccinations, thus involving staff at Vaccination Centres (VCs) and primary care paediatricians.


Training is provided to all professionals involved in the Surveillance on both the investigated health determinants and the more methodological aspects of the survey.


The survey is carried out during the immunization sessions that are most relevant for the behaviours to be investigated, that is the first, second and third doses of DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) and the first dose of MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella, varicella), usually given at 3, 5, 12 and 15 months of age (according to the immunization schedule).


The Surveillance also involves distributing communication material (multilingual brochures and posters) to Vaccination Centres and surgeries of primary care paediatricians.



Scientific Director for the Istituto Superiore di Sanità:

Enrica Pizzi



Publication date: 22 December 2020