NCDC Weekly Epidemiological Report: Volume 10, No. 1: 30th December – 5th January 2019

News and Press Release
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Strengthening Disease Surveillance and Early Response through Epidemic Intelligence

Epidemic Intelligence (EI) is a framework for strengthening disease surveillance, improving preparedness and enabling early response during outbreaks or public health emergencies. With support from partners, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) continues to improve its EI for early detection, verification and assessment of potential health threats.

To strengthen the country's emergency preparedness and response, NCDC has initiated a daily Signal Management and Epidemic Intelligence review meeting. This uses both Event-Based Surveillance (EBS) and Indicator-Based Surveillance (IBS) systems, to gather science based data and information on diseases of public health relevance. These data include official reports and rumours from various credible sources such as the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy; media outlets; hotline calls/short message services; sentinel surveillance; laboratory networks; humanitarian data; Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) etc.

The introduction of this review is further guided by the introduction of Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources (EIOS) tool to NCDC, by WHO in 2019. This makes Nigeria the first country in Africa to adopt the platform.

The NCDC daily Signal Management and Epidemic Intelligence review meeting aligns with the WHO global epidemic intelligence process. The objectives of this meeting are to:

1. Conduct daily analysis of public health risks from all parts of the country and provide direction for follow-up action(s)

2. Translate data-driven evidence to inform response activities

3. Ensure standardisation of signal management processes using relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

4. Provide guidance for evaluating and initiating public health response following identified threats

5. Provide guidance for sharing information to reduce the time necessary for mobilisation of resources in the event of a public health emergency

Signals are managed sequentially using the steps of Sniffing, Detection, Verification, Analysing, Risk Assessment, Reporting and Responding. Asides the in-depth analysis of signals by the subject matter experts, the information gathering platforms within our Incident Coordination Centre (ICC), also support signal detection and analysis functions.

One of our major priorities in 2020, is to strengthen the capacity to quickly detect and prevent the spread of disease outbreaks 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