Monitoring progress in the introduction of sentinel influenza surveillance in Turkmenistan

On 27 February–4 March 2017, WHO/Europe conducted a country visit focused on further strengthening influenza surveillance in Turkmenistan. The visit was carried out as part of the implementation of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework in the country, and in accordance with the agreed plan for 2017. It provided technical support for the implementation and monitoring of sentinel surveillance of influenza and acute respiratory infection (ARI). It also provided support for strengthening national capacity on data management, including development, and for the implementation of electronic database software for influenza and ARI. The software enables automated reporting, in particular the creation of weekly reports/bulletins.

During the visit, experts toured sentinel surveillance sites and met with health care providers from the Center for Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service in Ashgabat, the Virology Reference Laboratory and a polyclinic.

As a result, the progress of sentinel surveillance activities was noted and a template for a weekly influenza bulletin was developed in the electronic data management program. The bulletin will cover both universal and sentinel surveillance data on influenza and ARI.

Targeted activities under the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework in Turkmenistan have increased national capacity for influenza surveillance, including the monitoring of incidence trends and the structure of circulating viruses.