Influenza can cause serious public health and economic problems. Seasonal and pandemic epidemics can severely affect populations worldwide.

The most effective way to prevent the disease is vaccination. To determine if this is a priority health intervention, governments need information on disease burden. Yet, data describing the seasonality and epidemiology of influenza are scarce in most African countries. This is due, among other things, to poor surveillance systems.

The first step to improving influenza surveillance is to determine national capacity to detect and monitor the disease. That's why, from February 2009 and May 2010, AMP conducted an on-site situation analysis of influenza surveillance in 12 sub-Saharan African countries. The study was contracted by the WHO Global Influenza Program (GIP).