Lymphatic filariasis (LF), Dengue, and Chikungunya are vector bone neglected tropical diseases
transmitted by mosquitoes mainly prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world,
primarily affecting the world’s impoverished communities. Epidemics due to dengue and
chikungunya, despite underreporting, continue to rise worldwide, with approximately 50% of the
world’s population now at risk of dengue with an estimated 100-400 million infections occurring
In Kenya, the three blood detectable diseases are considered co-endemic in Kenya’s coastal
region: Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Mombasa, Taita Taveta, and Tana River counties where upsurges of
Dengue virus (DENV) and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) have been reported. This is because
mosquito densities have been on the rise in the region due to several factors, such as the
favourable climatic conditions occasioned by recent weather changes, creating conducive
breeding environments.
Secondly, the rapidly growing human population in the region leading to overcrowding,
numerous open dump sites, inadequate drainage, and stagnant water that provides ample
breeding sites for mosquitoes due to unmatched development commensurate with the demand
due to population increment. Therefore, this underscores the need for early detection of infection
to avoid further spread to help in intensifying control and prevention activities in good time. As
such, establishing a routine surveillance system to timely detect any potential recrudescence for
LF or an upsurge of DENV and CHIKV is thus important.
This project aims to pilot an integrated lab-based surveillance system for chikungunya, dengue,
and lymphatic filariasis in six coastal counties through the blood donation program in Kenya.
The project will be an endgame strategy for LF’s routine surveillance, aside from generating
more data on dengue and chikungunya distribution patterns and trends. This approach will
inform the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Kenya on whether to conduct further investigations
using WHO-recommended methodologies. Hence, this surveillance system will trigger MoH to
respond to LF, dengue, and chikungunya in case of an upsurge of cases of either of the three
This project will work with the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority which runs the national
blood donation program in Kenya (KETTA). KETTA has five satellite centres: Kilifi, Kwale,
Tana River, Taita Taveta, Lamu and one regional centre in Mombasa. The satellite centres will be
responsible for organizing blood donation drives. During the blood donation drives, the collected

blood will be stored at the County satellite bank stations and a sample (5ml) of each unit
collected will be sent to the Coast Regional Centre in Mombasa for screening (KTTA utilizes 1
ml of the 5 ml for screening, the remaining 4 ml will be utilized by the project). The residual
samples (4 ml) will then be packaged and shipped via an appointed courier to the Division of
Vector-borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases (DVBNTD) Laboratory in Nairobi for detection
of LF, dengue and chikungunya antibodies.

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