This study states that Although sentinel surveillance in African countries for viral respiratory infections such as influenza is important for prevention and control, funding for such activities has steadily decreased making its sustainability uncertain. Africa has a higher influenza-associated mortality burden than other regions. This is important as few African countries routinely vaccinate against influenza and or treat severe respiratory illnesses empirically with antivirals during the influenza seasons.1, 2 Much of Africa’s population is low and middle income and have substantial prevalence of underlying medical conditions3-5 and limited access to health care, increasing the risk of severe complications as a result of influenza illness.6 Only 3 of Africa’s 54 countries have government-subsidized seasonal influenza vaccination programs.7 Nevertheless, more African countries have influenza vaccines available through the private sector, are evaluating the potential value of influenza vaccination,8-10 or are introducing publicly available influenza vaccines among key risk groups. In addition to nascent influenza vaccination programs, some countries in Africa also treat severe influenza illnesses during influenza epidemics and pandemics with empiric antivirals, and/or deploy non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent contagion during epidemics.

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