CDC in Senegal

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began working in Senegal in 2001, with an initial focus on supporting the HIV sentinel surveillance program. The launch of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative in 2006 and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in 2010 expanded CDC’s support. In 2015, under the Global Health Security Agenda, CDC established an office in Senegal in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Action, the World Health Organization, and other partners to strengthen the country’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks.

Senegal Map

What CDC is Doing in Senegal

In today’s globally connected world, disease threats can spread faster and more unpredictably than ever before. CDC’s global health security efforts in Senegal help improve the country’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they become epidemics that could affect global populations. These efforts help Senegal reach the targets outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a global partnership launched in 2014 to help make the world safer and more secure from infectious disease threats.

Working closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Action and other partners, CDC provides expertise and support across the 11 technical areas known as GHSA action packages. These action packages help Senegal build core public health capacities in disease surveillance, laboratory systems, workforce development, and emergency management, as well as other critical areas. Senegal has made significant progress in the area of workforce development, with more than 150 staff working on disease surveillance that were trained in the frontline level of the Field Epidemiology Training Program, and supporting the launch of community-based surveillance activities in the country. Senegal’s Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) system reports on 44 diseases of which16 are reported on a weekly basis. Since 2017, CDC has supported Senegal in expanding IDSR reporting to the community level, targeting 8 syndromes.

HIV is a leading cause of death and a health threat to millions worldwide. As

a key implementer of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC works with Senegal to build a sustainable, high-impact national HIV response program to accelerate progress towards the UNAIDS global targets to control the HIV epidemic.

CDC works with Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Social Action to strengthen its national HIV surveillance system for data collection on key populations, such as female sex workers and men who have sex with men, and to improve the data quality for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and on-site HIV rapid testing.

CDC has provided support to laboratory capacity building and the implementation of an effective laboratory quality management system, including external quality assurance to address existing challenges and gaps in HIV testing and to ensure access to high-quality HIV diagnostics. Through GHSA, CDC has supported the implementation of a molecular biology platform, providing the capacity for molecular diagnosis of meningitis and capacity building of local engineers to certify biosafety cabinets, eliminating the need to hire experts from overseas.

CDC supports Senegal in strengthening the capacity of its workforce to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks through the establishment of a Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). FETP trains a workforce of field epidemiologists—or disease detectives—to identify and contain outbreaks before they become epidemics. Participants focus on “learning by doing” to develop the skills for gathering critical data and turning it into evidence-based action. Three levels of training—advanced, intermediate, and frontline—help develop national, regional, and local capabilities to stop diseases at their source.

Malaria is a leading cause of death and disease in many countries, and young children and pregnant women are the groups most affected. Under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, CDC has assigned a resident advisor to the malaria-endemic country of Senegal to support the implementation of malaria prevention and control interventions. CDC provides technical assistance for operations research; diagnostics; case management; malaria in pregnancy; malaria surveillance; program evaluation; and vector monitoring and control. The CDC resident advisor provides valuable support for the design and implementation of continuous demographic and health surveys to monitor the burden of disease and impact of interventions. CDC also assists with research related to insecticide-treated net longevity, malaria case management, therapeutic efficacy studies, and developing and assessing new tools to help Senegal progress from malaria control to elimination.

Vaccines prevent an estimated 2.5 million deaths among children under the age of 5 every year. Still, one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine. CDC provides technical and programmatic support to eradicate or control vaccine-preventable diseases through immunizations. Currently, Senegal’s Expanded Program on Immunization targets 13 diseases and includes second dose of measles rubella vaccine as well as inactivated polio vaccine, rotavirus vaccine and penumococcal conjugate vaccine. Additionally, the country is planning to introduce meningococcal vaccine.

CDC Impact in Senegal
  • Supported development of the first electronic HIV case reporting and surveillance system in the region.

  • With support from CDC, Senegal’s HIV reference laboratory was the first public health laboratory in West Africa to achieve international accreditation.

  • 8 cohorts and 182 participants have graduated from the FETP frontline level training since 2016. An intermediate (9-month) level program was launched in 2019 to add more advanced epidemiological capacity to health sectors in Senegal.

  • CDC supported the expansion of Senegal’s Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response to include community-based surveillance reporting.

  • Through CDC support, the national measles rubella first dose coverage in 2018 was 82%, and second dose coverage was 63%.

CDC Staff in Senegal
  • 4 U.S. Assignees
  • 3 Locally Employed
Senegal at a Glance
  • Population: 15,850,567 (2017)
  • Per capita income: $2,620
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 69/M 65 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 42/1,000 live births

Sources: World Bank 2018, Senegal
Population Reference Bureau 2018, Senegal

Senegal Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. Neonatal disorders
  2. Lower respiratory infections
  3. Diarrheal diseases
  4. lschemic heart disease
  5. Stroke
  6. Tuberculosis
  7. Diabetes
  8. Malaria
  9. Meningitis
  10. Congenital defects

Source: GBD Compare 2018, Senegal

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Page last reviewed: May 20, 2019
Content source: Global Health