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BMJ Glob Health. 2019 Jul 3;4(4):e001427. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001427. eCollection 2019.

Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy: current status, challenges and perspectives for the future in Africa.

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World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Health Emergencies programme, Brazzaville, Congo.
Global Public Health Solutions, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
World Health Organization, Country Office, Kampala, Uganda.
World Health Organization, Country Office, Juba, South Sudan.
World Health Organization, Country Office, Free Town, Sierra Leone.
World Health Organization, Country Office, Abuja, Nigeria.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Country Support, Brazzaville, Congo.


In 1998, the WHO African region adopted a strategy called Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR). Here, we present the current status of IDSR implementation; and provide some future perspectives for enhancing the IDSR strategy in Africa. In 2017, we used two data sources to compile information on the status of IDSR implementation: a pretested rapid assessment questionnaire sent out biannually to all countries and quarterly compilation of data for two IDSR key performance indicators (KPI). The first KPI measures country IDSR performance and the second KPI tracks the number of countries that the WHO secretariat supports to scale up IDSR. The KPI data for 2017 were compared with a retrospective baseline for 2014. By December 2017, 44 of 47 African countries (94%) were implementing IDSR. Of the 44 countries implementing IDSR, 40 (85%) had initiated IDSR training at subnational level; 32 (68%) had commenced community-based surveillance; 35 (74%) had event-based surveillance; 33 (70%) had electronic IDSR; and 32 (68%) had a weekly/monthly bulletin for sharing IDSR data. Thirty-two countries (68%) had achieved the timeliness and completeness threshold of at least 80% of the reporting units. However, only 12 countries (26%) had the desired target of at least 90% IDSR implementation coverage at the peripheral level. After 20 years of implementing IDSR, there are major achievements in the indicator-based surveillance systems. However, major gaps were identified in event-based surveillance. All African countries should enhance IDSR everywhere.


African region; Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response; International Health Regulations; World Health Organisation; key performance indicators

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