The African Network for Influenza Surveillance and Epidemiology (ANISE)
The African Network for Influenza Surveillance and Epidemiology (ANISE) is a network of laboratorians, epidemiologists, public health officials, clinicians, veterinarians, researchers, and policy-makers who work together to strengthen the capacity for surveillance and research related to influenza and other respiratory viruses in Africa. ANISE was founded in 2009 and currently has more than 260 members from more than 30 countries working on improving detection, case management, control, and prevention of influenza and other respiratory viruses in Africa.
ANISE has promoted the use of standardized protocols for surveillance of respiratory illnesses with the vision to estimate influenza-associated disease and economic burden in the continent, generating evidence-based data to support public health interventions and relevant changes in policy.
Collaboration among participating countries has led to important studies such as:
- Timing of seasonal influenza epidemics for 25 countries in Africa during 2010–19: a retrospective analysis published in The Lancet Global Health in 2023, identifying timing for seasonal flu epidemics for 25 countries in Africa.
- Severe acute respiratory illness deaths in Sub‐Saharan Africa and the role of influenza: a case‐series from 8 countries and a supplement published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in 2012 which focused on influenza in Africa and included more than 25 articles with original data from Africa.
Another important activity for the network is to facilitate capacity building through collaboration in epidemiology, laboratory, and surveillance efforts. This has been achieved through one-to-one exchanges between members of various participating countries and also through convening workshops on topics such as data management, scientific writing, molecular diagnostic methods, and disease burden estimation.
Members can use the Network to coordinate with one another and provide laboratory and epidemiologic support to other members.
The objectives of the ANISE Network are to:
- Generate and disseminate data on the burden and epidemiology of influenza in Africa
- Share and promote use of standardized surveillance methods in the region
- Coordinate and provide laboratory and epidemiologic support for the continued surveillance of seasonal influenza and for the detection of viruses with pandemic potential
The Network is open to professionals working on influenza-related projects or research in Africa.
Information is available about the next ANISE meeting which will take place September 11-13, 2023.
Related Web Pages
- Global Health Experts Meet to Encourage Influenza Research and Assess Tools for Building Efficient, Standardised Surveillance Systems
- African Countries Gain Ground in the Fight Against Influenza (December 2012)
- CDC Meets with 23 African Countries to Discuss Influenza Surveillance (January 2011)
Influenza in Africa
Influenza virus infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. At particular risk of severe disease are young children, pregnant people, people 65 years and older, and people with certain underlying medical conditions. The burden and epidemiology of influenza have been studied largely in developed settings, but influenza may have a different epidemiology in lesser resourced settings such as Africa due to untreated co-morbidities, malnutrition, and other factors. Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza illness but, due to cost, most groups at increased risk of severe influenza in low-income countries do not have access to influenza vaccines.z