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Response to an Unusual Outbreak in a High-risk Situation

Response to an unusual outbreak in a high-risk situation

Mahmood Muazu Dalhat1,&, Olufunmilayo Ibitola Fawole1,2, Patrick Mboya Nguku1, Meeyoung Mattie Park3, Casey Daniel Hall3, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo4


1Nigeria Field Epidemiology Training Program, Nigeria, 2College of Medicine, University Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, 3Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University 4Department of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria



&Corresponding author
Mahmood Muazu Dalhat, Nigeria Field Epidemiology Training Program, Nigeria




In 2010, a series of lead poisoning outbreaks linked to artisanal gold processing killed at least 400 young children in Zamfara State in northwestern Nigeria. There were several efforts to respond to the outbreaks as they occurred. Subsequent recurrence of lead poisoning outbreaks within Zamfara and beyond suggested that there were no efforts to mitigate the outbreaks as recommended for disaster management. This case study, to be completed within 3 hours, is suitable for senior level public health officials and those training for such positions. It enables participants to review and apply epidemiological principles for managing disasters and suggest steps toward development of policy recommendations based on the context of environmental lead exposure. It will serve as a generic training module for managers/responders of other natural (floods, heat stroke) and man-made disasters (civil strife, conflict, insurgency) based on the general/standard principle of the complete disaster management cycle.



How to use this case study    Down

General instructions: this case study is designed for training 15-20 participants in a classroom setting. A facilitator leads the participants through the case study as participants take turns reading one or two paragraphs out loud and provides guidance as participants go through each discussion or exercise question. Instructor’s notes are included with each question in the instructor’s version of this case study with suggestions for facilitation and with background materials.


Audience: senior level public health officials, public health officials responsible for policy and management, students of public health and/or field epidemiology, and practising (field) epidemiologists.


Prerequisites: before using this case study, case study participants should have received lectures or instruction in disaster management


Materials needed: Whiteboard or flip chart, markers


Level of training and associated public health activity: intermediate - disaster management.


Time required: 2-3 hours


Language: English



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Competing interest Up    Down

The authors declare no competing interest.



Acknowledgement Up    Down

We appreciate the contributions of the public health officials of the affected states, federal ministry of health, all local and international partners and all the residents of the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program for their contribution towards the response. Special thanks to the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and the Rollins School of Public Health for supporting the processes that ensured this case study was developed and published. The contributions of Rebecca D. Merrill, Lindsay Barr Dacuan, and Suleiman Haladu towards this publication are well appreciated. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of any governmental or non-governmental organisation.



References Up    Down

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