Using mobile technology for One Health surveillance

CORDS Project

Many places in Southern and East Africa rely on paper-based systems for surveillance of infectious diseases. Such systems place limits on rapid and reliable transfer of data and therefore hinder effective surveillance and slow down detection and response. Following the successful implementation of a project piloting the use of mobile technologies for disease surveillance, the South African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS) and the East African Integrated Disease Surveillance Network (EAIDSNet) worked to establish a cross-national mobile phone system encompassing six border countries in East and South Africa.

Photo courtesy of SACIDS

Realising the opportunities to improve infectious disease surveillance through mobile phone technology, SACIDS and EAIDSNet used a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to pilot the use of mobile technologies for disease surveillance. Trained technicians gathered data on quantitative disease occurrence in the  Ngorongoro, Kagera and Zambezi river basins, using mobile phones. The data was then sent to a central server.

Drawing on the success of the pilot project, SACIDS went on to conduct a second phase to establish a digital system for disease surveillance. The scope of this follow-on phase covered parts of Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Consortium (MBDS) supported the project by sharing their extensive experience in developing mobile technoloigies for cross-border collaboration.

Photo courtesy of SACIDS