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      Improving influenza surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa Translated title: Amélioration de la surveillance de la grippe en Afrique sub-saharienne Translated title: Mejorar la vigilancia de la gripe en el África subsahariana

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          Abstract

          PROBLEM: Little is known about the burden of influenza in sub-Saharan Africa. Routine influenza surveillance is key to getting a better understanding of the impact of acute respiratory infections on sub-Saharan African populations. APPROACH: A project known as Strengthening Influenza Sentinel Surveillance in Africa (SISA) was launched in Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Zambia to help improve influenza sentinel surveillance, including both epidemiological and virological data collection, and to develop routine national, regional and international reporting mechanisms. These countries received technical support through remote supervision and onsite visits. Consultants worked closely with health ministries, the World Health Organization, national influenza laboratories and other stakeholders involved in influenza surveillance LOCAL SETTING: Influenza surveillance systems in the target countries were in different stages of development when SISA was launched. Senegal, for instance, had conducted virological surveillance for years, whereas Sierra Leone had no surveillance activity at all. RELEVANT CHANGES: Working documents such as national surveillance protocols and procedures were developed or updated and training for sentinel site staff and data managers was organized. LESSONS LEARNT: Targeted support to countries can help them strengthen national influenza surveillance, but long-term sustainability can only be achieved with external funding and strong national government leadership.

          Translated abstract

          PROBLÈME: On sait peu de chose des conséquences de la grippe en Afrique sub-saharienne. Une surveillance régulière de la grippe est la clé d'une meilleure compréhension de l'impact des infections respiratoires aiguës sur les populations d'Afrique sub-saharienne. APPROCHE: Un projet connu sous le nom de Renforcement de la surveillance sentinelle de la grippe en Afrique (SISA) a été lancé en Angola, au Cameroun, au Ghana, au Nigeria, au Rwanda, au Sénégal, en Sierra Leone et en Zambie pour aider à améliorer la surveillance sentinelle de la grippe, y compris la collecte des données épidémiologiques et virologiques, et développer des mécanismes réguliers de rapports nationaux, régionaux et internationaux. Ces pays ont reçu un appui technique combinant une supervision à distance et des visites sur place. Des consultants ont travaillé en étroite collaboration avec les ministères de la santé, l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé, les laboratoires nationaux de la grippe et d'autres intervenants impliqués dans la surveillance de la grippe. ENVIRONNEMENT LOCAL: Les systèmes de surveillance de la grippe dans les pays cibles étaient à différents stades de développement quand SISA a été lancé. Le Sénégal, par exemple, effectuait une surveillance virologique depuis des années, tandis que la Sierra Leone n'avait aucune activité de surveillance. CHANGEMENTS SIGNIFICATIFS: Des documents de travail tels que des procédures et des protocoles nationaux de surveillance ont été élaborés ou mis à jour, et la formation du personnel de site sentinelle et des gestionnaires de données a été organisée. LEÇONS TIRÉES: Un appui ciblé aux pays peut les aider à renforcer la surveillance nationale de la grippe mais la viabilité à long terme n'est possible qu'avec un financement externe et un solide leadership du gouvernement national.

          Translated abstract

          SITUACIÓN: Existe poca información sobre la carga de morbilidad de la gripe en el África subsahariana. La vigilancia rutinaria de la gripe es clave para poder entender mejor el impacto de las infecciones respiratorias agudas en las poblaciones del África subsahariana. ENFOQUE: Se inició un proyecto conocido como SISA, Strengtheninginfluenza sentinel surveillance in Africa, (Refuerzo de la vigilancia centinela de la gripe en África) en Angola, Camerún, Ghana, Nigeria, Ruanda, Senegal, Sierra Leona y Zambia para ayudar a mejorar la vigilancia centinela de la gripe, incluida la recopilación de datos epidemiológicos y virológicos, y para desarrollar mecanismos de información rutinarios a nivel nacional, regional e internacional. Estos países recibieron asistencia técnica por medio de supervisión remota y visitas directas. Los consultores trabajaron estrechamente con los ministerios de sanidad, la Organización Mundial de la Salud, los laboratorios nacionales de gripe y otros interesados relacionados con la vigilancia de la gripe. MARCO REGIONAL: Los sistemas de vigilancia de la gripe en los países objetivo se encontraban en diferentes fases de desarrollo cuando se implementó el proyecto SISA. Por ejemplo, en Senegal se había llevado a cabo la vigilancia virológica durante años, mientras que en Sierra Leona no se había realizado ninguna actividad de vigilancia. CAMBIOS IMPORTANTES: Se desarrollaron o actualizaron los documentos de trabajo, como protocolos y procedimientos de vigilancia nacional, y se organizaron cursos para el personal centinela in situ y para los administradores de datos. LECCIONES APRENDIDAS: La asistencia específica para los países puede ayudar a los mismos a reforzar la vigilancia de la gripe a nivel nacional, pero solo se puede conseguir una sostenibilidad a largo plazo con financiación externa y con un fuerte liderazgo gubernamental nacional.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Global burden of respiratory infections due to seasonal influenza in young children: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

          The global burden of disease attributable to seasonal influenza virus in children is unknown. We aimed to estimate the global incidence of and mortality from lower respiratory infections associated with influenza in children younger than 5 years. We estimated the incidence of influenza episodes, influenza-associated acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI), and influenza-associated severe ALRI in children younger than 5 years, stratified by age, with data from a systematic review of studies published between Jan 1, 1995, and Oct 31, 2010, and 16 unpublished population-based studies. We applied these incidence estimates to global population estimates for 2008 to calculate estimates for that year. We estimated possible bounds for influenza-associated ALRI mortality by combining incidence estimates with case fatality ratios from hospital-based reports and identifying studies with population-based data for influenza seasonality and monthly ALRI mortality. We identified 43 suitable studies, with data for around 8 million children. We estimated that, in 2008, 90 million (95% CI 49-162 million) new cases of influenza (data from nine studies), 20 million (13-32 million) cases of influenza-associated ALRI (13% of all cases of paediatric ALRI; data from six studies), and 1 million (1-2 million) cases of influenza-associated severe ALRI (7% of cases of all severe paediatric ALRI; data from 39 studies) occurred worldwide in children younger than 5 years. We estimated there were 28,000-111,500 deaths in children younger than 5 years attributable to influenza-associated ALRI in 2008, with 99% of these deaths occurring in developing countries. Incidence and mortality varied substantially from year to year in any one setting. Influenza is a common pathogen identified in children with ALRI and results in a substantial burden on health services worldwide. Sufficient data to precisely estimate the role of influenza in childhood mortality from ALRI are not available. WHO; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Seasonal influenza epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review.

            Acute respiratory infection (ARI) is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, of which influenza is an important cause that can be prevented with vaccination. We did a systematic review of research published from 1980 to 2009 on seasonal influenza epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa to identify data strengths and weaknesses that might affect policy decisions, to assess the state of knowledge on influenza disease burden, and to ascertain unique features of influenza epidemiology in the region. We assessed 1203 papers, reviewed 104, and included 49 articles. 1-25% of outpatient ARI visits were caused by influenza (11 studies; mean 9·5%; median 10%), whereas 0·6-15·6% of children admitted to hospital for ARI had influenza identified (15 studies; mean 6·6%; median 6·3%). Influenza was highly seasonal in southern Africa. Other data were often absent, particularly direct measurement of influenza incidence rates for all ages, within different patient settings (outpatient, inpatient, community), and for all countries. Data from sub-Saharan Africa are insufficient to allow most countries to prioritise strategies for influenza prevention and control. Key data gaps include incidence and case-fatality ratios for all ages, the contribution of influenza towards admission of adults to hospital for ARI, representative seasonality data, economic burden, and the interaction of influenza with prevalent disorders in Africa, such as malaria, HIV, and malnutrition. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Influenza in Africa

              Maria Yazdanbakhsh and Peter Kremsner argue that there needs to be better awareness, surveillance, and clinical management of common febrile diseases in Africa, especially influenza.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ] Agence de Médecine Préventive France
                [2 ] World Health Organization Switzerland
                [3 ] African Field Epidemiology Network Uganda
                [4 ] World Health Organization Switzerland
                Contributors
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                Journal
                bwho
                Bulletin of the World Health Organization
                Bull World Health Organ
                World Health Organization (Genebra )
                0042-9686
                April 2012
                : 90
                : 4
                : 301-305
                S0042-96862012000400014

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Product
                Product Information: SciELO Public Health
                Categories
                Health Policy & Services

                Public health

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