NCDC Weekly Epidemiological Report: Issue: Volume 11 No. 52: 21st – 27th December 2020

Situation Report
Originally published
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Strengthening Influenza and COVID-19 surveillance in Nigeria

Globally, viruses have led to large scale public health events such as pandemics. Asides the associated morbidity and mortality, they also cause huge socio-economic, educational and political disruption with almost all facets of lives affected. In the past, the world the has witnessed pandemics like Spanish flu (1918), Swine flu (2009), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (2002) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (2012). The ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is not an exception.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to work closely with relevant stakeholders to strengthen national preparedness and response capacities for global influenza outbreaks. We are currently working towards establishing an effective and sensitive in-country surveillance system capable of timely detecting all cases presenting with clinical signs and symptoms that may be indicative of influenza or COVID-19. This will be streamlined into the National Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Strategy.

In line with the above, the NCDC is supporting states to strengthen existing National Influenza Sentinel Sites (NISS) through capacity building of workforce as well as logistics support. This is expected to enhance timely case detection, continuous data generation and analysis for informed decision making.

In addition to data on influenza now included in our weekly epidemiological report (WER), we are also introducing a section with highlights on key preparedness and response activities around influenza and COVID-19 in the sentinel sites. Some of the progress recorded as well as ongoing and planned activities include:

  1. Established influenza sentinel sites in all six geo-political zones in Nigeria. Currently, there are seven active sites while three have been assessed for operationalisation

  2. Sensitised and created awareness on active sentinel sites, with State Ministries of Health

  3. Constituted National Technical Working Groups to ensure regular updates of data and coordination of preparedness and response activities

  4. Ongoing implementation of developed work plan supported by US Centers for Disease Control (US-CDC)

  5. To begin combined influenza and COVID-19 screening/ diagnostic services for all suspected cases using multiplex kits

  6. Expand sentinel sites to all the 36 stated plus the Federal Capital Territory (one each in urban and rural areas per state)

  7. Set up different pillars within the TWGs for holistic coordination of activities

We are particularly grateful to the World Health Organisation and US-CDC for their continuous support in strengthening influenza surveillance in Nigeria.

The NCDC will continue to provide necessary support to ensure an effective and efficient system is established for influenza surveillance in Nigeria.

Summary of Incidents

  1. Information for this disease was retrieved from the Technical Working Group and Situation Reports

  2. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for this disease is reported for confirmed cases only

  3. Information for this disease was retrieved from IDSR 002 data

  4. CFR for this disease is reported for total cases i.e. suspected + confirmed

  5. Information for sentinel influenza was retrieved from the laboratory