Epidemiological Surveillance System with Mobile Data Collection in IOM Mali

Data entry at night in SELENGUE FMP

To ensure the epidemiological surveillance of travelers from countries affected by the Ebola virus disease (EVD), the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene of Mali has implemented health screening at checkpoints along major routes (roads, rivers, rails and airports) and especially at entry points. Each point has at least two health workers conducting temperature checks and collecting travelers’ personal data. The results of recent exploratory missions have raised the need to strengthen the health monitoring system and health screening and to increase awareness of travelers between Guinea and Mali. Since November 2014, IOM, through its Health Humanitarian Border Management (HHBM) is supporting the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene of Mali to implement activities to strengthen monitoring mechanisms at the main border points between Guinea and Mali through the deployment of tracking Flow Monitoring Points (FMP) and material support.

FMP Ebola agents are working with health workers already providing epidemiological surveillance for early detection of cases of EVD (temperature measurement, search for clinical signs consistent with the definition of a suspect case of EVD, contact with a case of EVD in the past 21 days and alert to medical authorities in case of detection) and with agents of the security forces deployed at the borders. FMP agents are in charge of sensitizing travellers to hand-washing, prevention and control of infection (recognition of the EVD signs, behaviour to protect themselves) and travellers’ data collection. Travellers’ data (e.g., names, phone number, place of origin, place of destination, temperature, travel purpose, duration of stay in Mali) are collected in paper forms and then entered offline into android tablets (Galaxy Tab 4, 7 inches) using ODK Collect (Open Data Kit).
 

   Solar rechargeable lamp

 

 

The entered data are regularly submitted to the IOM ODK aggregate server located in Geneva via mobile network 3G connection. A copy of the submitted data is then downloaded automatically into a folder in XML format on the local server in IOM Bamako, using ODK Briefcase, which is executed every 4 hours by an SQL server job. This job also executes a small application written in C# to upload ODK XML instances in the local SQL Server database. The data can now be used to produce statistics and reports when exported into an Excel sheet.

In FMPs where there is no electricity, IOM agents have been given solar rechargeable lamps which also allow recharging the tablets during the day. Since November 22 2014, more than 440 000 screened and sensitized travellers’ data have been collected, 230/000 of which have been collected via ODK since 26 February 2015 when ODK was introduced in FMP. IOM Mali database section has provided assistance to other IOM Country Offices in IOM Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone to implement the same system.