Case-based measles surveillance with lab confirmation

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WHO in the African Region has been supporting countries to start case-based measles surveillance immediately following wide age group catch-up SIAs. As of June 2009, all countries that have conducted catch-up SIAs except Guinea Bissau, Comoros and Saotome and Principe have set up case based surveillance supported by a network of national measles laboratories. These 40 countries are reporting monthly on the results of case based investigation and lab confirmation of suspected measles cases. The system is set up in such a way as to allow the rubella serological testing of measles negative specimens, and so has been informative regarding the rubella disease burden in the African region.

The surveillance performance is closely monitored at national and regional levels using standard indicators and monthly feedback. The main performance indicators are:

  • The proportion of suspected measles cases investigated with blood specimens
  • The proportion of districts that have investigated at least one suspected case of measles with a blood specimen within a year
  • The non-measles febrile rash illness rate

The complete list of indicators can be found in the Regional Surveillance guidelines. These guidelines describe in detail the Regional standards for case based and lab supported surveillance of all suspected measles cases.

At Regional level, the surveillance performance is monitored regularly alongside the epidemiological trends, and written feedback is produced and disseminated monthly to reporting countries and partners.

Tabular view of the surveillance performance for the years 2002 - June 2009.