I've spent quite some time trying to find online resources that might throw more light on the undiagnosed outbreaks reported yesterday in Niger and Tanzania. No luck.
I can find basic WHO information on Niger and Tanzania. I have ransacked the links on ABYZ News Links for Niger and Tanzania. I have found the website of Niger's Department of Public Health, and Tanzania's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
Niger's use of French is not a problem, and Google Translate will take a shot at Tanzania's Swahili, so language is not a real problem.
But neither country's ministry has anything about these outbreaks. Niger's media links are either defunct or silent on health issues. Tanzania's don't mention the outbreak in Kasulu.
I'm already unhappy about countries with good online resources, like Saudi Arabia, that studiously refuse to keep their people and the world informed about disease outbreak. Now I'm reminded that other countries simply don't have the resources for online communication, or at least lack the desire to put their resources into creating a web presence.
Even these outbreaks were buried on the Outbreak News page of WHO's Regional Office for Africa; without CIDRAP, the rest of the world would have been largely unaware of them. And the news from both countries is a month old, reporting on Niger's cases recorded between August 28 and October 12 and Tanzania's between August 20 and October 23.
When both official and unofficial online surveillance in most countries is pretty good, these blanks on the map make me nervous.