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Workshop to Strengthen Implementation of Sentinel Surveillance System for Influenza in Liberia

The World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) has ended a week-long training for the implementation of sentinel surveillance of influenza in Liberia. The workshop aimed at enabling participants to describe the virology and epidemiology of influenza virus; outline steps for setting up a national or locality-specific influenza sentinel surveillance system; develop work plans for implementation of sentinel surveillance for influenza, among others. The hosting of this workshop is in line with the recently developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on influenza surveillance by the WHO- Regional Office for Africa (AFRO).
Influenza viruses have become one of the major concerns globally, especially in Africa where it is a major cause of mortality particularly among children aged 6–59 months, the elderly, individuals with specific chronic medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, asthma,  chronic heart or lung diseases, and health-care workers. It is often characterized by fever, headache, myalgia, sore throat and cough and transmitted through respiratory droplets or contact.
Dr. Nuha Mahmoud, World Health Emergency Coordinator, WHO-Liberia, speaking at the opening program said that it is important for Liberia to join the network of influenza surveillance system to implement sentinel surveillance for influenza in Liberia, this being a post-Ebola country.  Dr. Mahmoud further said that Liberia being a part of the network would enable the country to implement protocols and SOPs as they relate to addressing influenza in Liberia. She, therefore, called on the participants to make use of the knowledge and skills that will be acquired from the training.

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Group photo of participants at the Sentinel Surveillance for Influenza training in Liberia

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