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Surveillance and Outbreak Response: Innovations and Lessons Learned

Watch as Riris Adondo Ahmad reviews lessons learned from the polio eradication campaign for surveillance and outbreak response (Step 2.10).
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SPEAKER: Now let’s take a look at innovations and lessons learned from surveillance and outbreak response.
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So from the reading on polio outbreak in Syria, can we discuss why are conflict settings especially challenging for maintaining and setting up surveillance systems? And what strategies have been utilized to detect and control outbreaks in such settings, both successfully and unsuccessfully? Can you also tie the case study from the polio outbreak in the Horn of Africa?
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To overcome challenges in keeping up AFP surveillance for the [? heartbeats ?] area, or after polio is gone from an area, many countries have tried innovative approach. For example, in this case in Kenya, which has been polio free for over a decade, integrated AFP surveillance and routine immunization supervision is done via cell phone basis.
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Another innovative approach, which can help to assess inaccessible areas, is this example from Nigeria. These maps from Nigeria, so security compromised area, where the polio program relies in part on community informants. Another example is using geographical information system for surveillance to detect and manage an outbreak. This example from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006 and 2007 in which GIS is used to map the partial distribution of cases during the outbreak. This is the first use of Google Maps in DRC polio outbreak. And they use population and data to geocode cases and identify at-risk risk populations. The same system then used to detect Ebola outbreak cases in this area.
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So what are the lessons learned from polio eradication surveillance system? One is that active surveillance depends above all on early detection and timely action. Keeping ahead of the virus requires a well managed system for detecting cases. Without an appropriate response, surveillance fails. The driving force for surveillance is an immediate response with full investigation, followed by confirmation an outbreak immunization.
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The AFP surveillance has adopted a system that is standardized throughout the world, using the same tools, indicators, and reporting system in every country. And this standard the system has greatly strengthened collaboration with immunization partners, by setting uniform data on a weekly basis, and advocating for action and support where risk and weakness are detected. So that’s the end of our session. And thank you for watching this video.

Riris Adondo Ahmad, MD, MPH, PhD
Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

Review the reading Best Practices in Active Surveillance for Polio Eradication, particularly the sections on “Improving the sensitivity of active surveillance”, “Improving the quality of surveillance for AFP”, and “Applying new technology for AFP surveillance”.

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