Ethiopia on Monday unveiled a suite of new digital health tools that are built on top of Demographic Health Information System (DHIS2) to enhance surveillance, monitoring and tracking of cases of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.The new systems were developed with support from USAID’s Digital Health Activity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Data Use Partnership, and youth volunteer group to support the fight against COVID-19 across the country.
Minister of Health Dr. Lia Tadesse said “the tools that we are launching today are critical in terms of routinely collecting surveillance data, tracking suspects, tracing contacts to confirmed cases, issuing lab requests and receiving results, and monitoring COVID-19 patients until their health outcome is determined”.
Tadesse said “these tools will be integrated with the other existing systems developed by our partners for better consistency and timeliness of all COVID-19 related information.”
Dr. Ebba Abate, the Director General of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), remarked that the tools will support the enrollment and tracking of suspected cases, create lab requests, link confirmed cases with contacts, and monitor patient outcomes.
“As a result, call center agents, rapid response team members, medical officers, lab technicians, and national and local health authorities involved in the coronavirus response will be able to do their jobs more efficiently” Dr. Abate added.
USAID Mission Director Sean Jones said, “Data is not going to stop coronavirus by itself, but will serve as an essential tool for epidemiologists and health authorities to monitor and respond to the crisis more effectively. As the disease burden increases, we need to support health workers fighting COVID-19, as well as other diseases”.