GHD/EMPHNET participated in the Digital Disease Surveillance in Africa Workshop organized by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Held in collaboration with the Fogarty International Center and U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Workshop took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, between February 28 and March 1, 2019.
Thirty public health surveillance experts, epidemiologists, and mathematical modelers interested in digital disease surveillance approaches from the African Union Member states participated in this workshop.
Several topics were discussed during the workshop. These included digital disease surveillance concepts; digital surveillance and the need for disease outbreak forecasting in Africa; disease forecasting in terms of accuracy; the preliminary results of using Twitter (mass media) in digital surveillance; as well as the key elements of disease surveillance dashboards.
GHD/EMPHNET representatives presented the potential role of the organization in supporting and coordinating the application of such digital surveillance methods in African countries. In addition, they shared the GHD/EMPHNET experience in digital surveillance methods in different countries across the Eastern Mediterranean Region, focusing on relevant opportunities and challenges.
Furthermore, GHD/EMPHNET representatives visited the Emergency Operational Center (EOC) of the Africa CDC and met the center’s director. There was a discussion about the EOC functions in Africa, the challenges they face, and the future plans for development.