2015 Award for Outstanding Student Abstract – International Society for Disease Surveillance


The ‘Award for Outstanding Student Abstract’ opportunity has been developed and is being coordinated by the ISDS Research Committee. The purpose of the Award is to recognize the exemplary work being done by students in the field of biosurveillance.

The 2015 Awardees are:

Folasade Osundina, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme¬†for the abstract ‘Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in Lagos, Nigeria; 2014: an Epidemiological Investigation.’

Folasade Osundina is a postgraduate student of Public Health, currently undergoing residency training through the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Progreamme (NFELTP). During the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Lagos State, Nigeria in 2014, she was a member of the epidemiology unit of the response team, specificially the contact tracing group. She has been involved in researches on infectious diseases, maternal and child health and non-communicable diseases.


Summary: The study objective was to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of Ebola virus disease patients and their contacts, magnitude of the outbreak and factors associated with outcome. Active case search, contact tracing, laboratory confirmation of cases and prompt management were done. Data was collected using contact listing, contact follow-up, case listing forms and Open Data Kit. None of the contacts was lost to follow-up. Case fatality rate was 37.5%. Health care workers and the active age group were more affected. The outbreak was contained through effective contact tracing and surveillance.

Melody Maxwell, The Ohio State Universityfor the abstract ‘Building the Road to a Regional Zoonoses Strategy: a Survey of Zoonoses Programs in the Americas.’

Melody Maxwell graduated from The Ohio State University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 and a Masters of Public Health in 2016. After graduating in 2014, she completed a year-long Boren Fellowship with the Pan-American Health Organzation (PAHO), in the Zoonotic Disease Unit at PANAFTOSA in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her work at PANAFTOSA focused on designing and analyzing a survey of national zoonotic disease priorities in Latin American and Caribbean countries, along with a number of other projects.


Summary: To identify how member countries in the Americas region can strengthen their capacities and manage endemic and emerging zoonoses risks, a 36-question survey was distributed to zoonoses program mangers within the Ministries of Agriculture and Health in the Americas by PANAFTOSA (PAHO/WHO). The survey captured information regarding the national zoonotic disease programs, zoonotic disease priorities and prioritization exercises, as well as capacities the groups identified as needing improvement. Information from this survey will be used to develop strategic collaborations within the region, enhanced cooperative risk management, and improved data sharing and analysis. 

For more information about the award, please visit the Award webpage.