The IHR Strengthening Project alongside United States Centre for Disease Control and Ohio State University participated in a workshop to support the Ethiopian Public Health Institute to strengthen the Influenza-Like illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) surveillance system.
As part of the International Health Regulations Strengthening project, UKHSA alongside the United States CDC and Ohio State University have been supporting the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) to strengthen their Influenza-Like illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) surveillance system.
There are 4 ILI and 12 SARI sentinel sites as part of the influenza surveillance system in Ethiopia. EPHI is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the data collected, as well as the reporting, analysis, and feedback. Collecting this information provides a more complete picture of the epidemiology of such diseases. To strengthen these systems and to collect reliable epidemiological and virological data, the Respiratory Viral Diseases Surveillance and Response Team of EPHI have facilitated the development of ILI/SARI Surveillance and Respiratory Sample Collection and Handling Training Materials, with the support of their partners.
The “ILI/SARI Surveillance and Respiratory Sample Collection and Handling Training Materials preparation workshop” was held from September 21st to September 24th, 2021 in Bishoftu, Ethiopia. Epidemiologists, laboratory experts, and physicians from EPHI, UKHSA, United States CDC and Ohio State University participated in the workshop. The training materials covered an overview of influenza surveillance, respiratory sample collection, infection prevention during sample collection, and referral network systems, providing resources such as workshop trainee manuals, trainer guides, and training evaluation tools.
These capacity building activities for the influenza surveillance system in Ethiopia provide both epidemiological and virological learning to meet knowledge gaps and enhance national capacities, enabling health systems to be better prepared against seasonal, zoonotic, and pandemic influenza threats.
The next step will be providing training to surveillance officers and sample collectors who working in the sentinel surveillance sites. UKHSA continues to provide technical support to achieve influenza surveillance sustainability in the country.