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Senegal’s Grand Magal of Touba: Syndromic Surveillance during the 2016 Mass Gathering

Abstract : The Grand Magal of Touba (GMT) is an annual 1-day Muslim religious event that takes place in Touba in Senegal. The city of Touba swells from 800,000 to four million people during the GMT. All patients who attended one of the 154 dedicated medical care public healthcare structures of the medical region of Diourbel during the GMT were included in a cross-sectional survey from November 16 to November 21, 2016. Demographic, morbidity, and mortality data were collected on a daily basis using a standardized article form that allows data to be recorded in a free-text format. Data were obtained from a total of 20,850 healthcare encounters, and 30.9% patients were aged ≤ 15 years. The most frequent conditions were gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. Most frequent gastrointestinal symptoms were abdominal and gastric pain, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea, suggesting that most patients suffered gastroenteritis. The predominance of cough, rhinitis, influenza-like illness, and sore throat among patients with respiratory symptoms suggests that most patients suffered from upper respiratory tract infections. Other frequent symptoms were headaches and pain in various organs. Three percentage of patients were considered to have malaria, 29.8% of patients were prescribed antibiotics and 2.6% antimalarial drugs, and 1.5% of patients were hospitalized. Only one death was recorded. Preparedness of the medical infrastructure should target these syndromic features, in terms of diagnostic tools and specific treatments, including pediatric formulations. It is also essential to improve the quality and rapid availability of data to enable real-time analysis of medical events at the GMT and to implement a rapid response, if necessary.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 20, 2020 - 5:24:58 PM
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Cheikh Sokhna, Ndiaw Goumballa, van Thuang Hoang, Balla Mboup, Mamadou Dieng, et al.. Senegal’s Grand Magal of Touba: Syndromic Surveillance during the 2016 Mass Gathering. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2019, ⟨10.4269/ajtmh.19-0240⟩. ⟨hal-02446300⟩



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