CFK Africa has launched an initiative with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that will host one of the largest overseas population-based infectious disease surveillance (PBIDS) initiatives.
CFK Africa says an NGO will offices in Kenya and US, the initiative will track the spread of infectious diseases such as Coronavirus and inform other public health measures in Kenya.
CFK Africa has since 2007 partnered with the CDC in Kenya to conduct the surveillance activity among approximately 30,000 residents of Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi.
The surveillance program focuses on monitoring infectious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrheal and febrile illnesses, as well as Covid-19, which was added during the pandemic.
“The CDC is able to use this data to harness and build local lab and research capacity in Kibera, inform policy and programming in Kenya, and support its efforts to track infectious diseases worldwide while strengthening global health security,” said CFK Africa Executive Director Hillary Omala.
He added, “We are also drawing on the data at CFK Africa to inform new interventions and strengthen our existing programming to meet emerging and increasing needs.”
Over the years, the CDC's PBIDS initiatives have been established around the world and supported new interventions for rotavirus and a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10).
The PBIDS platform in Kibera, operated jointly by CDC-Kenya, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), and CFK Africa, together with CDC's PBIDS site in Asembo have contributed to more than 80 peer-reviewed varied journal articles ranging from the environmental transmission of typhoid fever to severe acute respiratory infections in children.
PBIDS says it helped provide accurate data on the spread of Covid-19, showing that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among Kibera residents rose from 43 per cent in December 2020 to 64 per cent by June 2021.
According to the findings, the high levels of Coronavirus transmission in densely populated informal settlements and emphasized the need to prioritize Covid-19 vaccine distribution in Kibera and similar settlements.
“Informal settlements and other under-resourced areas suffer the greatest burden of disease, but reliable data to demonstrate this to national and international agencies is often lacking,” Omala intimated.
He added, “CFK Africa’s partnership with the CDC helps generate actionable data that assists scientists and public health officials in making informed decisions and enacting more equitable and effective public health responses.”