Strengthening Multisectoral Community Event-Based Surveillance of Zoonotic Diseases in Senegal – Rapid Assessment of a Global Health Security Agenda Project

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Year: 2018

Strengthening Multisectoral Community Event-Based Surveillance of Zoonotic Diseases in Senegal – Rapid Assessment of a Global Health Security Agenda Project Abstract:

Senegal is committed to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and International Health Regulations 2005. The government has undertaken several initiatives in this direction, and promoting the One Health initiative is part of that approach. Recently, after approval by the Prime Minister, Senegal established a legal structure for the One Health platform. The national One Health platform is taking several steps to advance the One Health agenda in the country. Government ministries involved in advancing the agenda are Health, Livestock, Environment, Interior, Education, and Gender.

The first phase of MEASURE Evaluation’s GHSA One Health surveillance program is focused on strengthening multisectoral collaboration in community surveillance of six prioritized zoonotic diseases in two regions, Tambacounda (comprising Tambacounda and Koumpentoum districts) and Saint Louis (comprising Pété and Podor districts). The surveillance activity will be implemented in two additional regions during the next phase; these regions will be selected after consulting with the stakeholders. The activities in the One Health program extend the current work of MEASURE Evaluation in these four districts in the community surveillance of eight priority human diseases. This rapid assessment assessed the preparedness of the participating sectors, i.e., health, livestock, and environment in the four project districts. We also expect that a review of similar activities by other partners in the country could help MEASURE Evaluation find opportunities that complement the current project and avoid any duplication.

Our rapid assessment of the health sector revealed that it is well prepared for the implementation of the activity, in terms of the physical infrastructure, staffing distribution, and presence of organized community health volunteer groups in the four project districts. Community groups have recently undergone training in the surveillance of priority human diseases. Additionally, Senegal has the laboratory capacity for the diagnosis of the six prioritized zoonotic diseases.

The livestock sector is prepared in terms of their service delivery points and staff distribution. In addition to the government veterinarians and para-veterinarians, private veterinarians play a significant role in the delivery of services in certain regions, and therefore, must be included in the One Health activities. The private veterinarians work closely with auxiliary livestock agents from the community. These agents could potentially be included in the community health volunteer groups for detecting outbreaks of zoonotic diseases in animals. The central laboratory (LNERV) of Senegal is equipped to diagnose all the six zoonotic diseases; although, the laboratory capacity needs to be strengthened at the regional levels.

Part of the National Park Niokolo-Koba that is managed by the Ministry of Environment extends to one of the project districts, Tambacounda. The Eco-guides and Eco-guards working in these regions represent the community for surveillance activities, and therefore, could be potential members of the community health volunteer groups. The National Park personnel work closely with the Ministry of Livestock for the diagnosis of diseases. When an outbreak or an unusual health event is reported in the National Park, park personnel report the event to the nearest veterinarian, who then follows the routine surveillance pathway Livestock Sector.

Several partners working in community-based surveillance and One Health complement our project activities, including Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Catholic Relief Services, PATH, EcoHealth Alliance, and One Health East and Central Africa (OHCEA). It would, therefore, be worthwhile to form a Partners’ Forum and schedule regular meetings to exchange information. FAO and OHCEA were identified as two active partners that complement specific activities in the One Health project.

Filed under: Global health , Senegal , Community-Based Surveillance , Africa , Global health security , Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System , Community-based health information systems , Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response