Using DHIS2 in Communicable Disease Surveillance at the Caribbean Public Health Agency

This abstract has been accepted at the 2024 DHIS2 Annual Conference

**Using DHIS2 in Communicable Disease Surveillance at the Caribbean Public Health Agency **

The Health Information, Communicable Disease and Emergency Response (HCE) Department of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has long maintained 3 routine surveillance programs: a) Weekly Syndromic Surveillance b) SARI/ARI Sentinel Surveillance and c) Communicable Disease Laboratory Surveillance. Prior to 2023, surveillance data for each program was received via email and transcribed into an independent database. DHIS2 was used in a relatively limited role: the storage and reporting of data gathered from the Communicable Disease Laboratory Surveillance program only. In 2023, HCE increased our usage of DHIS2 in our surveillance programs. Specifically, in the migration of our Weekly Syndromic Surveillance and SARI/ARI Sentinel Surveillance programs to the platform. At the time of this submission, the migrations of these programs to DHIS2 are at different stages: Weekly Syndromic Surveillance has been fully deployed on DHIS2 and uses the platform for data capture, data storage and providing relevant outputs for downstream analytics; SARI/ARI Sentinel Surveillance data storage in DHIS2 is synchronized periodically with our existing database while final testing and customization of other features is being carried out. We will outline the steps involved in these efforts and discuss the tangible benefits. Key tasks in the program migrations have included replicating existing forms for data capture, configuring DHIS2 appropriately to store our surveillance data, transferring historical data from existing relational databases to DHIS2, and configuring DHIS2 outputs (pivot tables) to feed into downstream analytical software or other reporting processes. Increased usage of DHIS2 has provided multiple benefits, including: simplifying the data capture/submission process; reducing the workload associated with database administration; providing easier integrated reporting and data exploration, and accelerating surveillance follow-up. Of particular interest, we note that using DHIS2 provides opportunities to bring the agency’s data collection into better alignment with our member states’ national data collection infrastructure and to simplify the data submission process even further via interoperability with member states’ health information systems (which may be DHIS2 instances in some cases). Additionally, we will discuss other related initiatives leveraging DHIS2 such as the reconstruction of CARPHA’s Communicable Disease Outbreak Database.

Primary Author: Daryn Ramsden

syndromic surveillance, sentinel surveillance, communicable diseases surveillance, system interoperability