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E-Surveillance strengthens health system in Nigeria- WHO

As part of measures geared towards supporting government to strengthen surveillance system at both health facility level and community level, WHO have sensitized over 20,930 community members on identification and notification of priority diseases in 2018.
This measures are being put in place such that   no cases of vaccine preventable diseases under surveillance are left  undetected, and responded to on timely basis.

Dr. Sume Gerald at the WHO Nigeria office, stated that e surveillance in Nigeria is government-led and driven.
“We  build capacity of DSNOs and their assistants.
We procure smart phones for e-Surveillance and provides airtime for uninterrupted use of the phones for active surveillance in the respective LGAs.”

“Other  interventions using smart phones like Auto-Visual AFP Detection and Reporting (AVADAR), Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) also contribute to enhance disease detection and reporting”
The minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole   while being presented a dashboard of e-Surve during the opening ceremony of the African Regional Certification Commission hosted by Nigeria last month, said “the innovation is a   remarkable progress as it shows where we can actually reach for surveillance with geo-coordinates.
“The e-Surve involves the use of smartphones to conduct active surveillance and monitoring of disease outbreaks with the help of an electronic checklist”
“It is an innovative approach which aims to strengthen disease surveillance activities at all levels in Nigeria as well as improve the quality and documentation of active surveillance visits”
“The Local Government Area (LGA) Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNO) are equipped with configured smart phones and supported monthly with voice and data recharge to conduct active surveillance in health facilities and communities within their coverage areas”
“It ensures timely, evidence based implementation and submission of active visits conducted”

Dr Namadi Lawal ,surveillance officer with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said the
E-Surve is  a wonderful innovation which enables him to get  more accurate data  in a fast and effective manner.
“For years, the agency depended on paper-based methods for surveillance and monitoring of disease outbreaks”
“When the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the Electronic Surveillance (E-Surve) approach for active surveillance and monitoring of disease outbreaks, I discovered we were  receiving far more accurate information in real time, making our work efficient and timely. “

Early detection of cases calls for swift intervention, as well as prevention of the spread of diseases within and outside the communities.
At present, not all diseases are notified to health workers or health facilities. Notifiable diseases that are attended to at health facilities are sometimes not reported by health workers. In such cases, unreported communicable diseases can result to active transmission from infected to healthy individuals.
Active disease surveillance as opposed to passive surveillance, increases detection of unreported priority diseases.

Instead of paper work, e-Surve helps the government and partners to monitor active surveillance visits based on approved guidelines, provides evidence-based visits and tracks visits conducted by DSNOs not only to health facilities but also to communities. The content of the visit is easy to analyze, and feedback given timely to improved quality of surveillance.

As at 30 May 2018, about 18,840 active surveillance visits to health facilities, with location captured, had been recorded across the 18 implementing states and 3,276 suspected cases (730 acute flaccid paralysis, 1,850 measles, 149 suspected Yellow fever, 100 neonatal tetanus and 447 cerebrospinal meningitis) previously unreported from the health facilities have been identified and investigated.

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