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Improving global influenza surveillance: trends of A(H5N1) virus in Africa and Asia
Magdalena Escorcia, Matias S Attene-Ramos, Marco Estrada, Gerardo M Nava
BMC Research Notes , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-62
Abstract: Our analysis revealed a power-law distribution in the number of sequences of A(H5N1) viruses analyzed and/or reported to influenza surveillance networks. The majority of the Asian and African countries at great risk of A(H5N1) infections have very few (approximately three orders of magnitude) sequenced A(H5N1) viruses (e.g. hemagglutinin genes). This suggests that countries under pandemic alert for avian influenza A(H5N1) have very limited participation (e.g. data generation, genetic analysis and data share) in avian influenza A(H5N1) surveillance. More important, this study demonstrates the usefulness of influenza genetic surveillance to detect emerging pandemic threat viruses.Our study reveals that some countries suffering from human cases of avian influenza have limited participation (e.g. genetic surveillance or data share) with global surveillance networks. Also, we demonstrate that the implementation of genetic surveillance programs could increase and strengthen worldwide epidemic and pandemic preparedness. We hope that this work promotes new discussions between policy makers and health surveillance organizations to improve current methodologies and regulations.The recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus in numerous countries in Asia and Africa and the increase in human cases, demonstrate that influenza A viruses remain a global pandemic threat [1,2]. Worldwide, natural migrations of birds and commercialization of poultry product are considered two of the most important mechanisms of disease dispersion [3]. Due to the high risk of the A(H5N1) pandemic threat, multinational efforts have been made to improve the surveillance and control of avian influenza viruses around the world [4]. In recent years, important progress has been accomplished in the standardization of laboratory techniques for the diagnostics of influenza viruses [5], and phylogenetic nomenclature of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus [6]. These efforts ha
Evaluation of problems and possible solutions linked to the surveillance and control of bovine brucellosis in sub-Saharan Africa, with special emphasis on Nigeria  [PDF]
Ademola A. Ibironke,Cheryl M.E. McCrindle,Folorunso O. Fasina,Jacques Godfroid
Veterinaria Italiana , 2008,
Abstract: Bovine brucellosis is disease of economic and public health significance in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is distributed worldwide but some countries have been able to eradicate brucellosis from their territories using elaborate brucellosis control and eradication programmes that have been targeted primarily at livestock (the main reservoir host for the disease). This has been achieved mainly by vaccination, test and slaughter, as well as by regular surveillance for early detection of the disease. Despite the level of knowledge on the epidemiology of bovine brucellosis, there has been limited success in controlling bovine brucellosis in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the problems associated with the surveillance and control of bovine brucellosis in sub-Saharan Africa include poor disease reporting, insufficient financial resources of governments (poor economic status of most countries in sub-Saharan Africa), as well as competing national health priorities, inadequate infrastructures and personnel, the commonly practised seasonal grazing or transhumant husbandry systems and communal grazing, inadequate monitoring of the disease in wildlife and poor communication and education of stakeholders. Since previous attempts at the control of bovine brucellosis have failed in Africa, it was considered important to address this aspect, using an approach that differed from the classic veterinary regulatory approach. Possible ways of dealing with this problem using complementary measures to the conventional approaches are also proposed.
Influenza preparedness and response: Involvement of African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs, 2009
M Precely, P Nsubuga
Pan African Medical Journal , 2011,
Abstract: Background: The capacity of public health professionals to rapidly detect and respond to disease pandemics is critical to understand and control global disease spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared H1N1 virus infection as pandemic. In May 2009, we assessed the participation of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs (FELTPs) based in sub-Saharan Africa on pandemic influenza preparedness and response. Methods: We administered an electronic survey to directors and resident advisors of African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) member and associate FELTPs. The survey included questions on the following attributes: program involvement in suspected H1N1 investigations, experience in influenza outbreak investigations, national influenza surveillance and response plans, and H1N1 outbreak preparedness. Results: Nine countries (100%) responded to the survey; all had existing national influenza response plans. Six programs reported their trainees had participated in past pandemic preparedness and response exercise, five (83%) of them were influenza specific. Conclusion: FELTPs played an important role in H1N1 surveillance and response in sub-Saharan Africa. Continued technical assistance and support to these programs is vital to foster their capacity to monitor and control public health threats.
Improving public health training and research capacity in Africa: a replicable model for linking training to health and socio-demographic surveillance data  [cached]
Jill R. Williams,Enid J. Schatz,Benjamin D. Clark,Mark A. Collinson
Global Health Action , 2010, DOI: 10.3402/gha.v3i0.5287
Abstract: Background: Research training for public health professionals is key to the future of public health and policy in Africa. A growing number of schools of public health are connected to health and socio-demographic surveillance system field sites in developing countries, in Africa and Asia in particular. Linking training programs with these sites provides important opportunities to improve training, build local research capacity, foreground local health priorities, and increase the relevance of research to local health policy. Objective: To increase research training capacity in public health programs by providing targeted training to students and increasing the accessibility of existing data. Design: This report is a case study of an approach to linking public health research and training at the University of the Witwatersrand. We discuss the development of a sample training database from the Agincourt Health and Socio-demographic Surveillance System in South Africa and outline a concordant transnational intensive short course on longitudinal data analysis offered by the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Colorado-Boulder. This case study highlights ways common barriers to linking research and training can be overcome. Results and Conclusions: This collaborative effort demonstrates that linking training to ongoing data collection can improve student research, accelerate student training, and connect students to an international network of scholars. Importantly, the approach can be adapted to other partnerships between schools of public health and longitudinal research sites.
Cause-specific mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh
Adjuik,Martin; Smith,Tom; Clark,Sam; Todd,Jim; Garrib,Anu; Kinfu,Yohannes; Kahn,Kathy; Mola,Mitiki; Ashraf,Ali; Masanja,Honorati; Adazu,Ubaje; Sacarlal,Jahit; Alam,Nurul; Marra,Adama; Gbangou,Adjima; Mwageni,Eleuther; Binka,Fred;
Bulletin of the World Health Organization , 2006, DOI: 10.1590/S0042-96862006000300012
Abstract: objective: to provide internationally comparable data on the frequencies of different causes of death. methods: we analysed verbal autopsies obtained during 1999 -2002 from 12 demographic surveillance sites in sub-saharan africa and bangladesh to find cause-specific and age-specific mortality rates. the cause-of-death codes used by the sites were harmonized to conform to the icd-10 system, and summarized with the classification system of the global burden of disease 2000 (version 2). findings: causes of death in the african sites differ strongly from those in bangladesh, where there is some evidence of a health transition from communicable to noncommunicable diseases, and little malaria. hiv dominates in causes of mortality in the south african sites, which contrast with those in highly malaria endemic sites elsewhere in sub-saharan africa (even in neighbouring mozambique). the contributions of measles and diarrhoeal diseases to mortality in sub-saharan africa are lower than has been previously suggested, while malaria is of relatively greater importance. conclusion: the different patterns of mortality we identified may be a result of recent changes in the availability and effectiveness of health interventions against childhood cluster diseases.
Cause-specific mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh  [cached]
Adjuik Martin,Smith Tom,Clark Sam,Todd Jim
Bulletin of the World Health Organization , 2006,
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To provide internationally comparable data on the frequencies of different causes of death. METHODS: We analysed verbal autopsies obtained during 1999 -2002 from 12 demographic surveillance sites in sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh to find cause-specific and age-specific mortality rates. The cause-of-death codes used by the sites were harmonized to conform to the ICD-10 system, and summarized with the classification system of the Global Burden of Disease 2000 (Version 2). FINDINGS: Causes of death in the African sites differ strongly from those in Bangladesh, where there is some evidence of a health transition from communicable to noncommunicable diseases, and little malaria. HIV dominates in causes of mortality in the South African sites, which contrast with those in highly malaria endemic sites elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa (even in neighbouring Mozambique). The contributions of measles and diarrhoeal diseases to mortality in sub-Saharan Africa are lower than has been previously suggested, while malaria is of relatively greater importance. CONCLUSION: The different patterns of mortality we identified may be a result of recent changes in the availability and effectiveness of health interventions against childhood cluster diseases.
Adolescent childbearing in sub-Saharan Africa  [cached]
Gupta Neeru,Mahy Mary
Demographic Research , 2003,
Abstract: This article examines whether increased years of schooling exercised a consistent impact on delayed childbearing in sub-Saharan Africa. Data were drawn from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in eight countries over the period 1987-1999. Multiple logistic regressions were used to assess trends and determinants in the probability of first birth during adolescence. Girls' education from about the secondary level onwards was found to be the only consistently significant covariate. No effect of community aggregate education was discernible, after controlling for urbanity and other individual-level variables. The results reinforce previous findings that improving girls' education is a key instrument for raising ages at first birth, but suggest that increases in schooling at lower levels alone bear only somewhat on the prospects for fertility decline among adolescents.
Acute Myocardial Infarction in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Need for Data  [PDF]
Julian T. Hertz, Joseph M. Reardon, Clarissa G. Rodrigues, Luciano de Andrade, Alexander T. Limkakeng, Gerald S. Bloomfield, Catherine A. Lynch
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096688
Abstract: Background Trends in the prevalence of acute myocardial infarction in sub-Saharan Africa have not been well described, despite growing recognition of the increasing burden of cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries. The aim of this systematic review was to describe the prevalence of acute myocardial infarction in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Global Health Archive, CINAHL, and Web of Science, and conducted reference and citation analyses. Inclusion criteria were: observational studies, studies that reported incidence or prevalence of acute myocardial infarction, studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, and studies that defined acute myocardial infarction by EKG changes or elevation of cardiac biomarkers. Studies conducted prior to 1992 were excluded. Two independent reviewers analyzed titles and abstracts, full-texts, and references and citations. These reviewers also performed quality assessment and data extraction. Quality assessment was conducted with a validated scale for observational studies. Findings Of 2292 records retrieved, seven studies met all inclusion criteria. These studies included a total of 92,378 participants from highly heterogeneous study populations in five different countries. Methodological quality assessment demonstrated scores ranging from 3 to 7 points (on an 8-point scale). Prevalence of acute myocardial infarction ranged from 0.1 to 10.4% among the included studies. Interpretation There is insufficient population-based data describing the prevalence of acute myocardial infarction in sub-Saharan Africa. Well-designed registries and surveillance studies that capture the broad and diverse population with acute myocardial infarction in sub-Saharan Africa using common diagnostic criteria are critical in order to guide prevention and treatment strategies. Registration Registered in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) Database #CRD42012003161.
Influenza Surveillance among Outpatients and Inpatients in Morocco, 1996–2009  [PDF]
Amal Barakat, Hassan Ihazmad, Samira Benkaroum, Imad Cherkaoui, Abderahman Benmamoun, Mohammed Youbi, Rajae El Aouad
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024579
Abstract: Background There is limited information about the epidemiology of influenza in Africa. We describe the epidemiology and seasonality of influenza in Morocco from 1996 to 2009 with particular emphasis on the 2007–2008 and 2008–2009 influenza seasons. Successes and challenges of the enhanced surveillance system introduced in 2007 are also discussed. Methods Virologic sentinel surveillance for influenza virus was initiated in Morocco in 1996 using a network of private practitioners that collected oro-pharyngeal and naso-pharyngeal swabs from outpatients presenting with influenza-like-illness (ILI). The surveillance network expanded over the years to include inpatients presenting with severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) at hospitals and syndromic surveillance for ILI and acute respiratory infection (ARI). Respiratory samples and structured questionnaires were collected from eligible patients, and samples were tested by immunofluorescence assays and by viral isolation for influenza viruses. Results We obtained a total of 6465 respiratory specimens during 1996 to 2009, of which, 3102 were collected during 2007–2009. Of those, 2249 (72%) were from patients with ILI, and 853 (27%) were from patients with SARI. Among the 3,102 patients, 98 (3%) had laboratory-confirmed influenza, of whom, 85 (87%) had ILI and 13 (13%) had SARI. Among ILI patients, the highest proportion of laboratory-confirmed influenza occurred in children less than 5 years of age (3/169; 2% during 2007–2008 and 23/271; 9% during 2008–2009) and patients 25–59 years of age (8/440; 2% during 2007–2009 and 21/483; 4% during 2008–2009). All SARI patients with influenza were less than 14 years of age. During all surveillance years, influenza virus circulation was seasonal with peak circulation during the winter months of October through April. Conclusion Influenza results in both mild and severe respiratory infections in Morocco, and accounted for a large proportion of all hospitalizations for severe respiratory illness among children 5 years of age and younger.
Developing and Deploying OERs in sub-Saharan Africa: Building on the Present  [cached]
Clayton R. Wright,Sunday A. Reju
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning , 2012,
Abstract: Open educational resources (OERs) have the potential to reduce costs, improve quality, and increase access to educational opportunities. OER development and deployment is one path that could contribute to achieving education for all. This article builds on existing information and communication technology (ICT) implementation plans in Africa and on the experiences of organizations and initiatives such as the African Virtual University (AVU), OER Africa, the South African Institute of Distance Education (SAIDE), and the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) Project, to present one view of the benefits, challenges, and steps that could be taken to realize the potential of OERs in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, the article focuses on the factors necessary for creating and sustaining a vision for OER development and deployment; developing and distributing resources with an open license; improving technology infrastructure and reducing the cost of Internet access; establishing communities of educational collaborators; sustaining involvement in the OER initiative; producing resources in interoperable and open formats; establishing and maintaining the quality of OERs; providing local context to address national and regional needs and conditions; informing the public about OERs; and taking the initiative to build on the knowledge, skills, and experiences of others. In order to assist educators and decision makers, links to a variety of resources are provided.
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