Investigation into the procedures, reinforcing and enabling factors associated with yellow fever surveillance in a South-West State in Nigeria: A Qualitative Study

Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is endemic mainly in Africa and South America. Ongoing surveillance for early case detection and reporting as being highlighted as a strategic action in the Eliminating Yellow Fever Epidemic (EYE) Strategy. Therefore, this study investigated the procedures for yellow fever surveillance, reinforcing, enabling factors, and challenges associated with the surveillance of yellow fever in Oyo State, Nigeria.

The study was a cross-sectional study that utilized a qualitative method of data collection. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 12 surveillance supervisors that participated in this study. Key Informant Interview (KII) Guide was used to obtain information from the participants. All discussion were recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed.

The participants had a mean age of 48 ± 7.79. Majority of the participants were female (66.7%). Majority of the participant emphasized that yellow fever case detection is carried out by healthcare workers and community informants and that reporting is immediate. Supervision at the health facility is said to be done in order of prioritization. High-priority facilities are visited weekly; medium-priority facilities are visited fortnightly, while low-priority facilities are visited monthly. Supervision to the LGA is said to be a joint strategy between the State Ministry of Health and partners. Materials such as reporting forms, sample collection materials, yellow fever guideline are provided by the state Ministry of Health with support from partners. Challenges in the surveillance of yellow fever included lack of funding, poor vaccination coverage, insufficient subject matter expert, and poor healthcare-seeking behavior.

These findings emphasize the need for continuous yellow fever surveillance in Oyo State. It is therefore recommended that government and relevant stakeholders dedicate specific funds for yellow fever surveillance, provide regular training for healthcare workers and community informant to garner the requisite skills for case detection.

Keywords: Yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fever, surveillance, healthcare workers, community informants