Strengthening eIDSR through active case surveillance: A case of DHIS2 based COVID-19 digital surveillance tool in Tanzania

Strengthening eIDSR through active case surveillance: A case of DHIS2 based COVID-19 digital surveillance tool in Tanzania
By @Bernard @rajab_mkomwa @jesse-justin @mikespe @honest @ibrahimwickama

My name is Bernard Mussa from Tanzania. I work as an academic at the University of Dar es Salam (UDSM) and also as a Senior Systems Analyst and Projects Manager within the UDSM DHIS2 Lab. I have over 8 years of experience in developing, implementing, and supporting health information systems using DHIS2 and related digital technologies in Tanzania and across the East African Region.

I would like to invite you to my presentation during the DHIS2 Annual Conference in the session named Surveillance Strengthening scheduled for Monday, June 20, from 13:00 - 14:00 Oslo Time (GMT +2)

Here is the overview of my presentation.

In collaboration with Tanzania’s Ministry of Health (MoH), the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) DHIS2 Lab implemented an electronic integrated disease surveillance and response system (eIDSR) to assist in disease surveillance, prevention, and response to disease outbreaks. The system in place allows the national response team to quickly identify cases and respond in order to contain and prevent disease spread. To enable real-time data reporting across all health facilities, USSD, Android, and web-based eIDSR applications have been implemented. Tanzania, like many other countries, sought to strengthen its disease surveillance system in preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020. This included improving digital surveillance tools to provide reliable data to aid in the country’s pandemic preparation and response. For COVID-19, the MoH implemented the PIMACOVID and AFYAMSAFIRI web-based applications to test for COVID-19 suspects at all ports of entry (PoEs). Another application, CHANJOCOVID, was implemented to manage and store COVID-19 vaccination data in the country. These applications are all based on the DHIS2 platform.

However, because these systems are mostly used at PoEs and for managing COVID-19 vaccination, ensuring active surveillance of new suspected COVID-19 cases at the health facility (HF) level was a challenge. The UDSM DHIS2 Lab devised an innovative solution and developed the COVID-19 digital surveillance application within the DHIS2 platform in collaboration with the MoH to enable active case-based surveillance of care-seeking populations who visit health facilities (HFs) across the country.

The COVID-19 digital surveillance application was piloted in five (5) regions of the country, where it was tested, trained, and deployed. By April 2022, the system had already been tested in over 90 HFs across five (5) regions. After receiving training, users are now able to enter COVID-19 cases and generate case-list reports. An interactive dashboard within the application allows health managers to see all COVID-19 confirmed and suspected cases reported from pilot HFs in real time. To synchronize all surveillance data, the application was integrated with existing COVID-19 surveillance systems. Finally, the system connects to the national eIDSR database by combining data from other COVID-19 surveillance systems. This COVID-19 Digital Ecosystem has facilitated better data-driven planning and decision-making by relevant authorities. To strengthen the eIDSR system, the ministry is currently deploying the application to more HFs in Tanzania.


Thanks for sharing another case @Bernard :+1: