Initially an epidemiologist, infection prevention and control (IPC) specialist, social scientist and microbiologist were engaged directly at the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) headquarters in Ethiopia. Since their return to the UK, a comprehensive programme of remote support has continued. Key areas include:


  • Support to the surveillance technical working group: Strategic & technical advice and guideline development on all aspects of COVID-19 surveillance including support to countries to set up alert and contact tracing systems, airport monitoring, and data systems
  • Development of community health worker training for COVID-19, which has now been rolled out to Member States
  • Support for national sero-prevalence surveys

Infection prevention and control:

  • Support to webinar-based IPC training among health workers in member states
  • Support to the IPC research sub-group, which pulls together research activity on the continent related to IPC and COVID-19; the group has published a review paper on ventilation in African health care settings
  • Support for development of IPC guidelines that are specific to the Region


  • Assisting with developing Interim Guidance on the Use of Rapid Antibody Tests for COVID-19 Response

Social Science:

  • Support to the establishment and implementation of a novel continent-wide rumour tracking system that uses human-curated machine learning to track COVID-19 rumours on traditional and social media, and representing that system within the WHO-led Infodemiology Response Alliance
  • Technical and coordination support for PERC, a project that uses multiple data streams to track the secondary impacts of Public Health and Social Measures (PHSM)
  • Support for development of continent-wide guidelines on physical distancing, developing a stepwise approach to the introduction of PHSM, and on easing of lockdowns

Also By

UK Public Health Rapid Support Team