Sambala EZ, Ndwandwe DE, Imaan LM, Wiysonge CS. Evaluation of influenza surveillance systems in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review protocol. BMJ Open. 2019 Jan 28;9(1):e023335.
Influenza infrastructure systems are crucial for maintaining surveillance operations, and for mitigating and responding to the disease. The role of surveillance is to isolate and identify as rapidly as possible any new influenza strains and collate this information for the preparedness for, and response to, an impending influenza activity in humans. However, sources of surveillance information, particularly in Africa, are meagre. This systematic review will critically evaluate the existing influenza surveillance systems in sub-Saharan Africa.
METHOD AND ANALYSIS:
We will build multiple electronic database search strategies for use in PubMed, Scopus, African Journal Online, Web of Science and Google scholar to identify as many studies as possible. The medical subject heading and keywords will include a wide range of synonyms, both in index terms and free-text words. Database search will be followed by hand searching of reference lists of all relevant studies. We will include eligible full-text studies published from 2002 in order to coincide with the establishment of the integrated disease surveillance and response system in Africa by WHO. We will examine the influenza surveillance performance systems using the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on evaluating public health surveillance systems. Our outcome measures will include surveillance system attributes such as timeliness, sensitivity, specificity, acceptability, representativeness, simplicity and usefulness. We will conduct a narrative synthesis of all studies.
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