Feb 27, 2024

GOHi and EPHI collaborate on epidemiological surveillance training

The Ohio State University Global One Health Initiative (GOHi) has supported Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) surveillance in Ethiopia in collaboration with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI). This project aims to strengthen the biosurveillance and laboratory detection capacity of the EPHI for a broad range of pathogens causing AFI in Ethiopia and to inform the public on the magnitude, risk and appropriate prevention and control mechanisms. So far, the team has enrolled more than 1,000 AFI cases and collected samples from five hospitals to test for selected pathogens.

From the test results, pathogens – like the chikungunya virus – that were not previously reported in Gondar, Jinka Hospitals and surrounding areas have been detected through ELISA kit and reported through the AFI surveillance system. In addition, PCR-positive cases of dengue fever virus have been detected at Hiwot Fana Hospital. Diseases caused by chikungunya and Dengue Fever viruses are among nationally reportable diseases due to their public health importance, potential for outbreak and public health crisis.

Routine technical support and onsite supportive supervision have been given to AFI surveillance sites to strengthen case enrollment, data and sample collection.

As part of the project, GOHi and EPHI jointly conducted a three-day training on AFI Epidemiological Surveillance in January in Adama, Ethiopia, for 35 participants from the different hospitals participating in the AFI surveillance. The training aimed to create awareness about AFI surveillance activities and objectives. It also sought to link surveillance findings to the routine Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM) system, which supports preparedness, case detection and case reporting for early response.