The role of digital surveillance during outbreaks: the Ghana experience from COVID‑19 response

Journal of Public Health in Africa

Field Value
Title The role of digital surveillance during outbreaks: the Ghana experience from COVID‑19 response
Creator Owusu, Isaac Acheampong, Gideon K. Akyereko, Ernest Agyei, Nii A. Ashong, Mawufemor Amofa, Isaac Mpangah, Rebecca A. Kenu, Ernest Aboagye, Richard G. Adu, Collins Agyemang, Kingsley Nsiah-Asare, Anthony Asiedu-Bekoe, Franklin
Subject — COVID-19; outbreak response; digital innovation; disease surveillance; digital surveillance
Description Over the years, Ghana has made notable strides in adopting digital approaches to address societal challenges and meet demands. While the health sector, particularly the disease surveillance structure, has embraced digitization to enhance case detection, reporting, analysis, and information dissemination, critical aspects remain to be addressed. Although the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) structure has experienced remarkable growth in digitization, certain areas require further attention as was observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ghana during the COVID-19 pandemic, recognized the importance of leveraging digital technologies to bolster the public health response. To this end, Ghana implemented various digital surveillance tools to combat the pandemic. These included the ‘Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS)’, the digitalized health declaration form, ArcGIS Survey123, Talkwalker, ‘Lightwave Health information Management System’ (LHIMS), and the ‘District Health Information Management System (DHIMS)’. These digital systems significantly contributed to the country's success in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. One key area where digital systems have proved invaluable is in the timely production of daily COVID-19 situational updates. This task would have been arduous and delayed if reliant solely on paper-based forms, which hinder efficient reporting to other levels within the health system. By adopting these digital systems, Ghana has been able to overcome such challenges and provide up-to-date information for making informed public health decisions. This paper attempts to provide an extensive description of the digital systems currently employed to enhance Ghana's paper-based disease surveillance system in the context of its response to COVID-19. The article explores the strengths and challenges or limitations associated with these digital systems for responding to outbreaks, offering valuable lessons that can be learned from their implementation.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2023-10-30
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — —
Format application/pdf
Identifier 10.4081/jphia.2023.2755
Source Journal of Public Health in Africa; Vol 14, No 10 (2023); 10 2038-9930 2038-9922
Language eng
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Rights Copyright (c) 2024 Isaac Owusu, Gideon K. Acheampong, Ernest Akyereko, Nii A. Agyei, Mawufemor Ashong, Isaac Amofa, Rebecca A. Mpangah, Ernest Kenu, Richard G. Aboagye, Collins Adu, Kingsley Agyemang, Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe