Ensuring Data Interoperability to Further Global Health Security in Burkina Faso

February 6th, 2020 | Viewpoint

How multisectoral collaboration encouraged a holistic view of public health threats in an increasingly interconnected world.

In the aftermath of Ebola and other highly-pathogenic infectious diseases and zoonoses epidemics in West Africa, a need for an integrated approach to human and animal disease surveillance became a priority for the Burkina Faso government’s Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (MRAH), and Ministry of the Environment (MEEVCC). 

The principal outcome of the One Health zoonotic disease prioritization for multisectoral engagement workshop (2017) was the identification of five priority zoonotic diseases –anthrax, rabies, brucellosis, HPAI, and dengue– to be tracked by all three ministries. Shortly thereafter, JSI, through MEASURE Evaluation, began working in Burkina Faso as part of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), and has since grown to play an important role in health information system strengthening and multisectorial collaboration.

In March 2018, JSI began work on a One Health electronic platform, which, in addition to the 5 priority zoonoses, now tracks an additional 52 human, 76 animal, and 3 environmental health diseases.

Each ministry has its own “instance” of the DHIS2-based platform, where data entered at the community and facility levels are transmitted in real-time to the central level into an aggregated One Health platform thanks to an interoperability layer. An automatic system immediately alerts end-users by text messages or emails of any abnormal or suspicious trends or cases, which allows for quick investigations and sample collection and testing in hopes of preventing or containing future outbreaks and epidemics.

MEASURE Evaluation has been training and equipping end-users across the MOH, MRAH, and MEEVCC within the Center-South and Central Plateau regions to use and access the One Health electronic platform. All end-users across the three ministries within the two regions have been trained and equipped with tablets or computers. Post-training supervision will continue in these two regions until February. Furthermore, event-based surveillance (EBS) and field epidemiology training involving the three ministries and their community workers were organized in early 2019.

After a year of activity, the MOH, MRAH, and MEEVCC signed an inter-ministerial decree committing to use the One Health electronic system. This is a promising and pioneering story of multisectorial collaboration that encourages a holistic view of public health threat from three ministries’ perspective in an increasingly interconnected world.

At the 2019 Global Health Digital Forum (GDHF), the JSI/MEASURE Evaluation team had four posters accepted which highlighted the HIS work that the JSI team has done in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso. One poster, The One Health Electronic Platform in Burkina Faso, presented the multisectorial approach to integrating human, animal, and environmental health data in a unique One Health electronic platform, built using the District Health Information Software (DHIS2). We were pleased to have the work – and poster – recognized with an award at the conference.

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