In 2019, Africa CDC’s Surveillance and Prevention Division reached out to HISP to develop an electronic internal Event-Based Surveillance (EBS) platform to provide reliable, comprehensive, and high-quality information on acute public health threats. This would enable teams to analyse and classify the health risks associated with these events, disseminating information about these events, and facilitating appropriate and rapid interventions across the 55 African Union member states.
HISP brought together a team experienced in epidemiology and global surveillance systems to review the current processes, and design and develop the EBS system. The system works by systematically identifying events and incorporating data from African experts via formal and informal networks to support three main functional components, i.e. event detection, event analysis, and reporting.
All three functional components of this system are integrated as different custom applications; Tracker Capture form – to register profile details (detection) and monitor daily/weekly event updates (as a repeatable stage), Reports application with automated geospatial display of active outbreaks per Country and a Map app – providing narration and events overview in a customised report formats.
Event detection is an initial phase that involves extraction of suspected event information from official (Country Sitrep, NGOs, WHO, CDC) and unofficial (Social Media, Print Media, TV, Emails) sources to create profiles. Once the event is registered, an analysis process will begin with verifying, then assessing the risk levels of the event. Once events are verified, all event activities are monitored daily/weekly and reported to different stakeholders (Africa CDC, AU, etc.) via a custom system generated PDF report.
- Visual, geo-mapping of epidemics and disease outbreaks in African Union countries
- Automated and downloadable disease surveillance reporting in African Union countries