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Introduction to Examples from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Nigeria

Watch as Eric Mafuta outlines key characteristics of the DRC and Nigeria as they pertain to surveillance activities. (Step 2.14)
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ERIC MAFUTA: Today, we will explore some custom relating to the polio program surveillance challenges and to understand how this challenge was addressed for the example of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria. The surveillance can encounter challenges in certain parts of the country that were mostly inaccessible for health care workers due to several contextual factors. New strategies are needed to complement the existing intervention to detect and report [INAUDIBLE] of the poliovirus early enough for prompt action. Firstly, we will talk about the Nigeria. And Nigeria is a Western African country bordering the Gulf of Guinea between Benin and Cameroon. It has challenging contextual factors because of the difficult terrain.
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The southern lowland merge into central hills, plateau and mountain in the southwest. It has the largest population of any African nation with a cluster, and they are scattered through the country. There is also a challenge in the security because of the resurgence of Boko Haram in the north part. And Nigeria are allocated low budgetary to health. And this conducts to inequality in the health service provision with some regions having low coverage of health services. The second country is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the second largest country in Africa. Situated in the center of Africa, DRC contain a variety of topography and is divided by several rivers, which cause frequent flooding in the rural lowlands.
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And it’s served only by a weak transportation infrastructure. There is some governance [INAUDIBLE] with poverty and security, mainly in the eastern part of the country. And this creates a migration population with a lot of internal displacement– person and the refugee. With this information that I provide you, could you think a few on what can be the challenge for the polio surveillance system?

Eric Mafuta, MD, MPH, PhD
School of Pubilc Health, University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Choose one of the countries that Dr. Mafuta describes in this lecture: Nigeria or the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Reflect on the context he has described in the country. What do you think are some challenges for the polio surveillance system? List at least 2 ideas.

Please share your thoughts in the discussion.

Then, read some posts from learners who chose to reflect on a different country than you chose. Can you think of a solution to one of the challenges they described?

Respond to their post with your idea.

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