Improving Detection and Response to Respiratory Events in Kenya
The Detection and Response to Respiratory Events (DaRRE) project aims to identify cases of respiratory illness that could lead to outbreaks early enough in order to put prevention and control measures in place.
DaRRE has four main objectives:
- Strengthening and expanding existent surveillance platforms to detect and monitor a broad range of respiratory threats,
- Improving the completeness and timeliness of respiratory event-based reporting by community health volunteers, clinicians and health officials,
- Increasing laboratory capacity, including speed and accuracy, with an expanded list of pathogens tested at local and national levels, and
- Improving the response to respiratory outbreaks through epidemiologic investigations and appropriate implementation of control measures.
CDC Kenya, through the Global Health Security Agenda, supports the Ministry of HealthExternal in strengthening sentinel surveillance for acute febrile illness and respiratory disease. The latter is done largely through Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) surveillance based on referral hospitals across the country. CDC Kenya is also improving laboratory capacity for influenza and other respiratory viruses of public health importance at the National Influenza Center, part of the Public Health Laboratory System.
In 2017, the DaRRE team trained physicians and surveillance officers on respiratory illnesses of public health importance, including , influenza and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Virus. DaRRE also added Marsabit County in northern Kenya as a SARI sentinel surveillance site. Marsabit County is mostly inaccessible and the population is largely nomadic. Previous research also indicates that the large population of camels in the region carries antibodies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Virus.