Electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance & Response

eHealth Africa - Global Health Informatics

Enhance disease prevention and control through the capture and submission of data on epidemiologically important diseases.

Health facilities in West African countries create weekly reports of recorded diseases. The traditional paper-based system was transformed to electronical data submission.


The challenge

»People die from infectious diseases, because outbreaks go unnoticed.«

Public health workers are frontline responders during disease outbreaks. In order to prevent diseases from spreading, they need to be able to alert authorities quickly and accurately in order to ensure they get the right resources at the right time in order to keep communities healthy.

Paper-based methods present challenges that make health and disease data reporting time-consuming and error sensitive, resulting in questionable credibility and completeness of information.

In order to report diseases that have been encountered in a facility, in the traditional system a health worker would fill in a paper form, cases and deaths, grouped by age. Every week this form would be sent to the office of the chiefdom.

Here all the forms from all the facilities will be collected and sent over to the District office.

In the district office the paper piles up and eventually will be entered into a digital record system, like Excel sheets.

In this current workflow it takes several weeks until a disease outbreak gets noticed at national level. Also the reporting rates are low and the data quality is poor.

Original Paper Form

Html Form

»Collect quickly, report accurately.«

To overcome the challenge of paper-based reporting, we created a time-saving and error-reducing tool for data collection and reporting that could be built upon an existing infrastructure.

The eIDSR mobile application collects and reports data from the community level up to the national level. Health facilities get equipped with devices to replace the paper forms with electronical forms. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to train new users with little or no smartphone experience.

The tool is integrated in the national health system through its compatibility with the health information system DHIS2 which is used in over 45 countries, including many with vulnerable health systems.

To make that transition easier for the ones creating the reports, the e-form sticks to a similiar layout, but with all the benefits of fast data entry. Because a lot of zero values are expected, a row will automatically be filled with zeros, once a value is entered for one column. Besides that a detection for high priority diseases will prompt alerts.


The Rollout

»It makes our job very easy, very, very easy and we enjoy it.«

Public Health Sister – employed by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.