Electronic Reporting of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response: Lessons Learned from Northeast, Nigeria, 2019
Background: Electronic reporting of integrated disease surveillance and response (eIDSR) was implemented in two states in North-East Nigeria as an innovative strategy to improve disease reporting. Its objectives were to improve the timeliness and completeness of IDSR reporting by health facilities, prompt identification of public health events, timely information sharing, and public health action. We evaluated the project to determine whether it met its set objectives.Method: We conducted a
... We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess and document the lessons learned from the project. We reviewed the performance of the Local Government Areas (LGAs) on rumors identification and reporting of IDSR data on the eIDSR and the traditional system using a checklist. Respondents were interviewed online on the relevance; efficiency; sustainability; project progress and effectiveness; effectiveness of management; and potential impact and scalability of the strategy using structured questionnaires. Quantitative data were analyzed and presented as proportions using an MS Excel spreadsheet. Qualitative data was cleaned, converted into an MS Excel database, and analyzed using Epi Info version 7.2 to obtain frequencies. Responses were also presented as direct quotes or word clouds.Results: The number of health facilities reporting IDSR increased from 103 to 228 (117%) before and after implementation of the eIDSR respectively. The completeness of IDSR reports in the last six months before the evaluation was ≥ 85%. Of the 201 rumors identified and verified, 161 (80%) were from the eIDSR pilot sites. The majority of the stakeholders interviewed believed that eIDSR met its predetermined objectives for public health surveillance. The benefits of eIDSR included timely reporting and response to alerts and disease outbreaks, improved completeness, and timeliness of reporting, and supportive supervision to the operational levels. The strategy helped the stakeholders to appreciate their roles in public health surveillance.Conclusion: The eIDSR increased the number of health facilities reporting IDSR, enabled early identification, reporting, and verification of alerts, improved completeness of reports, and supportive supervision on staff at the operational levels. It was well accepted by the stakeholder as a system that made reporting easy with the potential to improve the public health surveillance system in Nigeria.