Shifting From Sectoral to Integrated Surveillance by Changing Collaborative Practices: Application to West Nile Virus Surveillance in a Small Island State of the Caribbean
Frontiers in Public Health
After spreading in the Americas, West Nile virus was detected in Guadeloupe (French West Indies) for the first time in 2002. Ever since, several organizations have conducted research, serological surveys, and surveillance activities to detect the virus in horses, birds, mosquitoes, and humans. Organizations often carried them out independently, leading to knowledge gaps within the current virus' situation. Nearly 20 years after the first evidence of West Nile virus in the archipelago, it has
... yet been isolated, its impact on human and animal populations is unknown, and its local epidemiological cycle is still poorly understood. Within the framework of a pilot project started in Guadeloupe in 2019, West Nile virus was chosen as a federative model to apply the "One Health" approach for zoonotic epidemiological surveillance and shift from a sectorial to an integrated surveillance system. Human, animal, and environmental health actors involved in both research and surveillance were considered. Semi-directed interviews and a Social Network Analysis were carried out to learn about the surveillance network structure and actors, analyze information flows, and identify communication challenges. An information system was developed to fill major gaps: users' needs and main functionalities were defined through a participatory process where actors also tested and validated the tool. Additionally, all actors shared their data, which were digitized, cataloged, and centralized, to be analyzed later. An R Shiny server was integrated into the information system, allowing an accessible and dynamic display of data showcasing all of the partners' information. Finally, a series of virtual workshops were organized among actors to discuss preliminary results and plan the next steps to improve West Nile Virus and vector-borne or emerging zoonosis surveillance. The actors are willing to build a more resilient and cooperative network in Guadeloupe with improved relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of their work.