Case study of Argus in Togo: An SMS and web-based application to support public health surveillance, results from 2016 to 2019
Introduction Argus is an open source electronic solution to facilitate the reporting and management of public health surveillance data. Its components include an Android-phone application, used by healthcare facilities to report results via SMS; and a central server located at the Ministry of Health, displaying aggregated results on a web platform for intermediate and central levels. This study describes the results of the use of Argus in two regions of Togo. Methods Argus was used in 148
... s used in 148 healthcare facilities from May 2016 to July 2018, expanding to 185 healthcare facilities from July 2018. Data from week 21 of 2016 to week 12 of 2019 was extracted from the Argus database and analysed. An assessment mission took place in August 2016 to collect users' satisfaction, to estimate the concordance of the received data with the collected data, and to estimate the time required to report data with Argus. Results Overall completeness of data reporting was 76%, with 80% of reports from a given week being received before Tuesday 9PM. Concordance of data received from Argus and standard paper forms was 99.7%. Median time needed to send a report using Argus was 4 minutes. Overall completeness of data review at district, regional, and central levels were 89%, 68%, and 35% respectively. Implementation cost of Argus was 23 760 USD for 148 facilities. Conclusions The use of Argus in Togo enabled healthcare facilities to send weekly reports and alerts through SMS in a user-friendly, reliable and timely manner. Reengagement of surveillance officers at all levels, especially at the central level, enabled a dramatic increase in completeness and timeliness of data report and data review.