Africa Centre for Disease Control Launches Event-Based Surveillance Framework

By: Darlington Omotoso.

The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has launched its Continental Event-Based Surveillance (EBS) framework to strengthen the continent’s early warning system, in Nairobi, Kenya.

The EBS is an organized collection of early warning and response that will monitor, assess and interpret unstructured ad-hoc information regarding health events or risks, which may represent an acute risk to health.

In his Keynote address, Acting Director, ACDC, Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma said the EBS was introduced in 2018 and has since been implemented by over twenty (20) Africa Union (AU) member States adding that Africa CDC has supported fifteen (15) of the countries in adopting the framework at their National levels.

Ouma recalled that in July 2022, following lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with Africa’s New Public Health Order, Africa CDC along with the Member States and other Stakeholders, revised the framework and developed additional resources to guide the establishment and implementation of Event-based surveillance using a multi-sectoral, One Health approach.

His words: “I also wish to reaffirm Africa CDC’s commitment. We will continue to support Member States, Regional Economic Communities, AU Organs and Institutions, and other stakeholders to support the implementation of the outcomes of this meeting as well as to support Member States to domesticate these resources at national and sub-national levels as part of our mandate in the New Public Health Order for Africa”.

Also speaking, the Acting Head of Division, Surveillance and Disease Intelligence, Africa CDC, Dr. Yenew Kebede, said the launch is an important milestone for the African continent. He added that taking the giant step forward in surveillance, through the Event-based surveillance key resources will greatly support countries’ efforts in establishing and strengthening their early warning systems for the timely detection and response of any public health threats.

His words: “I am proud to say that Africa CDC’s Event Based Surveillance system has made and continues to enhance the event-based surveillance on the continent significantly”.

The revised event-based surveillance framework aims at addressing a number of gaps such as early capturing, tracking, analysis, and reporting of public health events at all levels, adopting a multi-sectoral approach.

The launch drew over 150 participants, particularly, Directors of National Public Health Institutes, and surveillance experts from African Union Member States.

In addition, Member States agreed to adopt the Africa CDC event-based surveillance resources at the national and sub-nation levels.