Vaccine preventable disease (VPD) case-based surveillance (tracker) status

Hi everyone,
I am working with the MOH in The Gambia. They have been very happy with the performance of the DHIS2 Tracker module for COVID-19. They would now like to create a Tracker application they can use to report suspected cases of their 14 priority diseases/conditions.

We were thinking that it might make sense to use the VPD case-based surveillance tracker as the starting point for our development. The VPD module captures 4 of the 14 priority diseases, though as I understand it there are plans to include two more that are also Gambia priority diseases (viral hemorrhagic fever, cholera).

We would then need to add a form for the other 10 priority diseases/events, which could follow a standard format (data collected for these events would be more or less the same).

I am struggling to determine if this is the best way forward. The other approach that has been suggested is using the COVID Tracker as the starting point for our application development.

My questions are:

  1. Can anyone speak to the current status of the VPD case-based surveillance tracker? Is it in use in many countries?
  2. I am correct that there isn’t currently a demo version of the VPD tracker available?
  3. If anyone has any guidance on how they would go about the proposed app development, it would be greatly appreciated.
  4. If we customize the VPD tracker, will we run into major problems when updates to the VPD tracker module are released?

Thanks in advance for the help, I realize I am asking a lot of big questions, probably without providing adequate background information.

Hi Aaron,
Thanks for your interest! Indeed, we believe that integrating COVID-19 surveillance into the routine integrated disease surveillance systems is a smart strategy for sustainability.

The WHO VPD case-based surveillance (tracker) package covers 9 priority diseases. You can read more in the System Design Guide. The metadata itself (data elements, indicators, etc) is standardized to regional reporting typically used across AFRO Member States for case-based VPD surveillance. You can also access the tracker program in our demo site (log in with the credentials provided, navigate to Tracker Capture app, select any facility and use the ‘Case based Surveillance’ program).

The VPD tracker package (as with all DHIS2 metadata packages is distinct from the DHIS2 software itself. That is to say, any implementation can take one of these metadata packages/configurations and install into their DHIS2 instance, and customize as they wish. The VPD package will not “upgrade” with a software version upgrade (e.g. from DHIS2 v. 2.37 to 2.38). The MOH has complete control over whether they choose to take updated versions of metadata packages or not.

I’m flagging my colleagues from HISP WCA who led the design of the VPD tracker and also provide first-line support for MOH in The Gambia @jerry @Sakibou and @Edem_Kossi and WHO AFRO’s VPD platform. I think they will have more contextual information and technical guidance to offer.