COVID Surveillance Intensification in Ghana Network (CSIGN)
Aims to build the Ghana COVID-19 surveillance and response system, by amplifying and redirecting the already excellent influenza surveillance toward the new pathogen, by enhancing response activities through contact tracing, and by building capacity in laboratory testing and sequencing.
- Expand COVID-19 surveillance to the national influenza surveillance sites in Ghana
- WGS of COVID-19 in Ghana
- Mathematical Modelling of transmission in Ghana
- Evaluate the use of the GHS COVID-19 Phone Line
A strong surveillance system is critical to responding to COVID-19 epidemics. Countries around the world are attempting to scale up testing capacity to deliver a better understanding of the unfolding epidemics, so that policymakers can generate evidence-based interventions. A current challenge is that many transmission models are based on assumptions derived in high income settings which may not hold true in low and middle income countries. There is a need therefore improved surveillance, refined transmission efforts and context appropriate models for monitoring the impact of interventions in the African setting.
This project aims to build the Ghana COVID-19 surveillance and response system, by amplifying and redirecting the already excellent influenza surveillance toward the new pathogen, by enhancing response activities through contact tracing, and by building capacity in laboratory testing and sequencing. We will feed these outputs into a dynamic transmission model, to allow the boosted surveillance system to deliver policy-relevant support.
This will be achieved by activities on several fronts. We will strengthen the existing influenza networks with sentinel surveillance sites, which will improve reporting of cases, allowing the transmission modelling work package to make Ghana-specific estimates of the reproduction number, and improve our understanding of the transmission dynamics, for instance the degree of asymptomatic transmission and how that varies by age. We will enhance contact tracing at a community level which will allow better estimates to be made of key parameters of transmission as well as improving control of the epidemic and decreasing the reproduction number. We will establish real-time data collection and reporting at national and sub-national levels, which will feed into better situational awareness of the epidemic in Ghana, allowing information on the epidemic to be delivered in real time. Using these tools we will be able to estimate how the reproduction number changes in response to interventions. We will also sequence viruses from the Ghana epidemic, which will inform on the natural history of the virus and how quickly sequences diverge.
Taken together these epidemiological and modelling data will be synthesised to create useful, actionable information for key stakeholders and state-level actors leading the national COVID-19 response. These include control programme coordinators, national surveillance teams and public health policymakers. Overall, the study will inform rapid public health decision making and the design of appropriately timed control strategies.
Design: Prospective multi-component observational surveillance study
Study Sites: Ghana Influenza Surveillance Sites
Outcome Measures: Estimates of R0, impact of control measures