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Open Access Research article

Evaluation and use of surveillance system data toward the identification of high-risk areas for potential cholera vaccination: a case study from Niger

Jose Guerra1*, Bachir Mayana2, Ali Djibo3, Mahamane L Manzo2, Augusto E Llosa1 and Rebecca F Grais1

Author Affiliations

1 Epicentre - 8, rue St-Sabin, 75011, Paris, France

2 Direction régionale de la Santé Publique, Maradi, Niger

3 Faculté des sciences de la santé, Université de Niamey, Niamey, Niger

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:231  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-231

Published: 14 May 2012

Abstract

Background

In 2008, Africa accounted for 94% of the cholera cases reported worldwide. Although the World Health Organization currently recommends the oral cholera vaccine in endemic areas for high-risk populations, its use in Sub-Saharan Africa has been limited. Here, we provide the principal results of an evaluation of the cholera surveillance system in the region of Maradi in Niger and an analysis of its data towards identifying high-risk areas for cholera.

Results

We evaluated the cholera surveillance data using a standard CDC protocol, through interviews with heads of the system, and a review of cholera data collected between 2006–2009. The surveillance system was found to be sufficiently reliable to be able to utilize the data for the detection of high risk areas for cholera vaccination. Temporal, geographic and socio-demographic analyses of cholera cases indicated that between 2006 and 2009, 433 cholera cases were reported in the Maradi region of Niger. Two deprived neighborhoods of the region’s capital city, Bagalam and Yandaka, represented 1% of the regional population and 21% of the cholera cases, reaching a yearly incidence rate of 3 per 1000 in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

Conclusions

The results of this evaluation suggest that the reporting sensitivity of the surveillance system is sufficient, to appropriately classify the region as cholera endemic. Additionally, two overcrowded neighborhoods in the regional capital met WHO criteria for consideration for cholera vaccination.