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Using evidence to inform response to the 2017 plague outbreak in Madagascar: a view from the WHO African Regional Office

  • K. Heitzinger (a1), B. Impouma (a1), B. L. Farham (a1), E. L. Hamblion (a1), C. Lukoya (a1), C. Machingaidze (a1), L. A. Rakotonjanabelo (a2), M. Yao (a1), B. Diallo (a2), M. H. Djingarey (a1), N. Nsenga (a1), C. F. Ndiaye (a2) and I. S. Fall (a1)...
Abstract

The 2017 plague outbreak in Madagascar was unprecedented in the African region, resulting in 2417 cases (498 confirmed, 793 probable and 1126 suspected) and 209 deaths by the end of the acute urban pneumonic phase of the outbreak. The Health Emergencies Programme of the WHO Regional Office for Africa together with the WHO Country Office and WHO Headquarters assisted the Ministry of Public Health of Madagascar in the rapid implementation of plague prevention and control measures while collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative data to inform immediate interventions. We document the key findings of the evidence available to date and actions taken as a result. Based on the four goals of operational research – effective dissemination of results, peer-reviewed publication, changes to policy and practice and improvements in programme performance and health – we evaluate the use of evidence to inform response to the outbreak and describe lessons learned for future outbreak responses in the WHO African region. This article may not be reprinted or reused in any way in order to promote any commercial products or services.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: K. Heitzinger, E-mail: heitzk@uw.edu
References
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1.Ministère de la Santé Publique de Madagascar. Le Gouvernement Malagasy déclare la fin de l’épidémie de peste pulmonaire urbaine après avoir notifié 24 jours plutôt le dernier cas 2017. Available at http://www.sante.gov.mg/home/n# (Accessed 21 December 2017).
2.WHO Regional Office for Africa. Plague outbreak Madagascar: external situation report 14. Brazzaville, Congo: WHO, 4 December 2017.
3.WHO. WHO scales up response to plague in Madagascar 2017. Available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/response-plague-madagascar/en/.
4.Dennis, DT et al. (Principal authors). (1999) Plague Manual: Epidemiology, Distribution, Surveillance, and Control. Geneva: WHO.
5.WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia (2009) Operational Guidelines on Plague Surveillance, Diagnosis, Prevention, and Control. New Delhi: WHO.
6.Plague: knowledge resources for responders. Available at https://openwho.org/courses/knowledge-resources-plague (Accessed 16 April 2018).
7.Andrianaivoarimanana, V et al. (2013) Understanding the persistence of plague foci in Madagascar. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11, e2382.
8.Zachariah, R et al. (2012) Is operational research delivering the goods? The journey to success in low-income countries. Lancet Infectious Diseases 12, 415421.
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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