International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology

International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology ISSN: 2326-7291 Vol.3 (10), pp. 075-081, December, 2014. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Performance of acute flaccid paralysis surveillance system in Zambia: 2000 to 2009- Analysis of secondary data


 *University of Zambia, School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Lusaka, Zambia. National Professional Officer – EPI Surveillance @ World Health Organization, Zambia.

University of Zambia, School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, University Teaching Hospital, Po box 50110, Lusaka.

Copperbelt University, School of Medicine, Ndola Central Hospital, P/A, Ndola. Adjunct Professor with the Lusaka University.


Accepted 13 August, 2014


Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance was adopted by World Health Organization (WHO) following the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolutions in May 1988, to monitor progress towards poliomyelitis eradication in all member countries. It was introduced in Zambia in 1993, but active AFP surveillance started in 1998. Since then, health workers collect AFP surveillance data, but there is no documented evidence of the review of the performance of the system and epidemiological analysis of the data. A retrospective descriptive analysis was conducted on secondary AFP surveillance data for the period 2000-2009, consisting of all children aged <15years and performance evaluated using WHO-specified core AFP global surveillance indicators. During this period, a total of 1,452 cases were investigated. Completeness of data from case-based forms was very inadequate. No wild polio viruses were detected in stool samples and the non-polio AFP rate ranged from 1.8 -3.3/100,000 and stool adequacy from 65% - 96%.  There was low Non-Polio Entero virus (NPEV) rate. Although high level surveillance performance was achieved during this period, there were a lot of gaps in the national AFP surveillance data base. Addressing identified gaps could achieve optimal standards recommended by WHO and provide a good model for poliomyelitis eradication.

Key words: Acute flaccid paralysis, Poliomyelitis eradication, core indicators, completeness of data, wild polio virus, Non-polio AFP rate, non-polio entero virus rate.