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ABSTRACT: The outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, clearly signaled an end to the days when physicians and researchers could work in relative obscurity on problems of international importance, and it provided many lessons to the international public health and scientific communities. In particular, the outbreak signaled a need for stronger infectious disease surveillance and control worldwide, for improved international preparedness to provide support when similar outbreaks occur, and for accommodating the needs of the press in providing valid information. A need for more broad-based international health regulations and electronic information systems within the World Health Organization also became evident, as did the realization that there are new and more diverse partners able to rapidly respond to international outbreaks. Finally, a need for continued and coordinated Ebola research was identified, especially as concerns development of simple and valid diagnostic tests, better patient management procedures, and identification of the natural reservoir.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 03/1999; 179 Suppl 1:S283-6. · 5.85 Impact Factor
The Lancet 01/1998; 350(9092):1709; author reply 1709-10. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The expanded Programme on Immunization in the African region was launched in 1978 and by the mid-eighties, all countries had established national immunization programmes. A mid decade evaluation, conducted in 1985, indicates that the regional immunization coverage was still under 20% for all antigens. For this reason, member states agreed to accelerate the programme. They adopted a resolution declaring 1986 the "African Immunization Year" and pursued implementation of various accelerated efforts until 1990. During the acceleration phase, the political commitment was strong, with the involvement of top national officials and First Ladies in launching the immunization campaign in many countries. The resources required were supplied mainly from external funding agencies. As a result, sixteen countries reached the 80% immunization coverage rates for antigens administered to the infants and remarkable progress has been achieved in the control of the EPI priority diseases. Concerning polio eradication, at least fourteen countries, representing 20% of the regional population have reported zero incidence of poliomyelitis for two consecutive years, during the period 1991-1993. In five of these countries independent teams of international and national experts assessed the quality of the epidemiological surveillance and confirmed that polio cases may have been eliminated. This suggests that a polio-free zone has emerged in the southern part of Africa, where most of these countries are located. In the meantime, an outbreak of poliomyelitis (with 28 cases confirmed by isolation of type 1 poliovirus) was reported from one country (Namibia) where no cases had been reported for the last few years. It is still unclear whether poliovirus was imported or the virus continued to circulate without causing paralytic cases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Sante (Montrouge, France) 01/1994; 4(3):137-42.