In addition to visualizing the emergence of meningitis cases in Africa and in Niger Health Districts, the vigilance maps produced by the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) also show how twinning activities are serving as an efficient means for building capacity at and transferring knowledge between global, regional and national levels.
Experts from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center recently completed the automation of ACMAD’s procedures for collecting and processing its global products. NOAA, a WMO Global Producing Centre for Long-Range Forecasts (GPCLRFs), introduced its global data and products to counterparts in ACMAD, a designated WMO Regional Climate Centre (RCC), and national meteorological services from the Sahel during a training workshop in 2017, but found low internet bandwidth in the region to be a significant hindrance to tapping into NOAA’s global products. Automation has helped address this challenge, bringing down the time needed by ACMAD to generate forecast from 10 days to just 2-3 days.
This increased efficiency in downscaling global products to the regional level has, in turn, enabled ACMAD to help deliver benefits at the national level. ACMAD is now regularly producing vigilance maps for the emergence of meningitis cases at both the continental level and for Niger Health Districts, through twinning activities with the Niger Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (DMN). ACMAD and DMN interact regularly through Niger’s Climate Health Working Group, one of five climate thematic groups set up under Niger’s National Framework for Climate Services. The working group provides analyses of the climactic conditions in and an epidemiological overview of Niger, which are summed up in a Climate Health Bulletin—the first of which was published and distributed in December.
These global to regional and regional to national twinning activities are being conducted with support from the Climate Services for Increased Resilience in the Sahel project, administered by the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).