WHO strengthens surveillance for Adverse Events Following Immunization in South Sudan – WHO | Regional Office for Africa

Juba 13 July, 2018 – The Ministry of Health with support from the World Health Organization is building capacity to strengthen surveillance mechanism for adverse events following immunization (AEFI). 
This was initiated following the incident of a cluster of serious AEFI events reported in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria during the measles campaign in 2017. The AEFI surveillance mechanism was formalized and efforts put in place to ensure adherence to WHO immunization safety standards.  The national AEFI guidelines were developed, committee members identified and oriented on AEFI investigation and the national level causality assessment.  
In order to further strengthen the surveillance system, the next step was to extend the training to the state and lower levels.  With support from WHO, two workshops were held from 10 to 13 July 2018 to train state level staff for vaccine safety surveillance and orient the National AEFI Committee on the new guidelines for causality assessment.  
The first training held on 10-11 July, 2018, involved 41 participants drawn from the national and state hubs. They were taken through the basics of AEFI surveillance, reporting and recording of AEFI cases, investigation and sample collection. Participants included state EPI officers, WHO EPI staff, medical officers and nurses from state hospitals, members of the national EPI team, medical officers from Juba hospital, and representatives from the Drugs and Food Control Authority, John Snow Inc, WHO and UNICEF. 
The second training involved the national AEFI committee members who were oriented on New causality assessment guidelines.
The EPI Manager, Dr. Anthony Laku, appreciated the support that WHO is providing in fulfilling its mandate of building the capacity of the health system in South Sudan. He encouraged participants to use the knowledge and skills they have gained to the benefit the people of South Sudan. 
The WHO Country Representative a.i. for South Sudan, Evans Liyosi, said that strengthening of the AEFI surveillance is critical for proper documentation and monitoring of AEFI incidents and will help to mitigate further incidents. He commended the leadership of the Ministry of Health and support from Gavi which has made immunization possible in South Sudan.
The capacity building process will be rolled out to cover all the states and counties, thus enhancing AEFI surveillance and ensuring confidence in immunization.
Email: seruyanger [at] who.intpreviewremoved=”true”
Tel: +211921702124
Tel: +211 922 555 222
Email: vpaul [at] who.int