Early detection, reporting and surveillance for avian influenza in Africa

Where, why and how
The project takes place in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo), East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) and Southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe). It aims to enhance or build sustainable capacity in the region for early detection, reporting and surveillance of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The project uses risk-based approaches (risk mapping, value chain analysis and risk assessment) to create tools and train decision-makers in their use, enabling targeting of scarce resources at areas of greatest risk from the introduction and impacts of HPAI.
Project objectives
  • Improve national, sub-regional and regional capacity for evidence-based risk assessment approaches to enable rapid response for HPAI.
  • improve national surveillance and reporting capacity.
  • Increase sub-regional cooperation and coordination, with regional support to undertake HPAI investigations, report disease and manage HPAI relevant information.
Summary of activities
The project objectives will be addressed through a series of activities for each project location.  While the project activities have been tailored to each location, they contain a number of common elements as follows:
  • Rapidly assess existing HPAI surveillance systems
  • Develop, disseminate and train in the use of effective tools for targeting HPAI surveillance resources
  • Train in HPAI surveillance techniques, tools and approaches, including outbreak reporting and data analysis
  • Develop linkages with sub-regional and regional surveillance, disease investigation and learning networks
Expected outputs
  • HPAI surveillance systems assessed and training needs identified
  • Effective evidence-based tools for targeting HPAI surveillance resources based on risk developed
  • HPAI surveillance practitioners trained in surveillance techniques, tools and approaches
  • Knowledge base with regard to HPAI expanded through regional and sub-regional linkages
Into the future
The focus of the project is on early detection, reporting and surveillance for HPAI. However, the skills and experiences in risk-based approaches and effective surveillance methods gained by animal health professionals and other partners will be directly applicable to surveillance for other emerging infectious diseases, and for animal disease surveillance in general. This will strengthen national and regional animal disease surveillance systems in the longer term.
Project implementation and partners
ILRI is leading the project which is being implemented in collaboration with the following main partners:
  • Government veterinary services
  • Academic, community, business and other organizations


Risk mapping for highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in Africa

The publications below were developed to support decision-making for the prevention and control of highly pathogenic avian influenza through the use of risk mapping, and are an output of the Early Detection Reporting and Surveillance of Avian Influenza in Africa (EDRS-AIA) project, implemented by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).
We are calling these the “first generation” risk mapping products; ILRI is currently conducting research to further improve these products. We expect the final Bird Flu Risk Map Report to be available by September 2009. This publication will feature a state-of-the-art atlas of risk maps that have been validated and improved through field work, an experts’ workshop, and newly available data.
The publications are targeted to different audiences. The first three products are targeted to a broad audience while the fourth publication is suited for readers with a technical background.
We encourage all readers to first read the User Guide for Initial Bird Flu Risk Maps.
Click on the links below to access the publications, available in both English and French.





The initial risk maps were prepared using multi-criteria decision modelling in 2009 and subsequently refined to produce the final maps contained in the following report, published in February 2010.

Final report and risk maps (English)

Final report and risk maps (French)


Introduction to participatory epidemiology and its application to highly pathogenic avian influenza participatory disease surveillance: A manual for participatory disease surveillance practitioners

Published: September 2009

Download the English version of the manual