|Cerebrospinal Meningitis Epidemics and Surveillance Systems in the Sudan, Ethiopia and Chad (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, 1990, 40 p.)|
|II. COUNTRY REPORTS|
|A. REPUBLIC OF THE SUDAN|
This plan developed during the two last epidemics, has several strengths and weaknesses.
- warning messages at the beginning of high risk season
- sensitivity monitoring at the beginning of high risk season
- assessment of stocks
- weak surveillance and early detection capacities
- no computerized compilation capacities
- Coordination committee does not include all the agencies active in the health sector (NGOs)
- no established procedure for coordination of international assistance request
The surveillance system in the Sudan does not allow an early detection of an epidemic. Moreover the undereporting of cases is important. The poor communication means, the irregularities of reporting are the main constraints. A simple but robust system should be implemented. This implies several improvements:
1° Communication capacities and data collection
a. establishment of reliable channels of communication for information flow
b. improvement of radio communication means: at least one in each region.
c. establishment of a simple case definition including preferably the aspect spinal fluid
d. data collected should consist of age, sex, date, address.
- computerized capacities at the central level at least
The response capacities would be improved with a better preparedness. The following measures can be suggested:
- committees with adequate expertise at the regional and central level should be identified including representative from NGOs.
- design of procedure for rapid needs assessment
- assessment of resources and design of procedures for resource mobilisation
- assessment of transportation capacities in all the country
The standardized treatment protocol should encourage the use of oily chloramphenicol in case of epidemic.