SORMAS: Mobile Ebola Surveillance

Surveillance of Ebola infections by real-time mobile data transmission in Nigeria

The ongoing Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa and the possible re-emergence of new Ebola virus infections in countries such as Nigeria require to strengthen the disease surveillance and control capabilites in these countries.
The aim of the project "EBOKON 10" is to exploit information technology to support in identifying emerging infections and Ebola suspected cases as well as their contacts immediately. In this way, further spread of infections can be prevented. Together with the Nigerian "Programme for Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training" the Department of Epidemiology at the HZI (Prof. Dr. Krause) has initiated that project to address this challenge.
In order to meet the specific technical requirements of West African countries, a management tool for infection control and for real time transmission of epidemiological data will be developed. It will run on normal mobile phones that are widely spread in West African countries. The complexity of the data processing is, however, handled by a high-performance data management platform and the use of cloud technology provided by SAP, a German Software Corporation.

Our partners:

Nigeria Field Epidemiology & Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP), Abuja, Nigeria

Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin (BNIT), Hamburg

Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), Berlin

Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Abuja, Nigeria

Deutsche Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (DZIF), Braunschweig

Hasso-Plattner-Institut, Potsdam 

Figure: SORMAS personas involved in the EVD containment process.
Figure: Contact tracing process for Ebola Surveillance.

• The informant looks for disease rumors in the population and collects information on death or sickness among health care workers.

• A rumor officer conducts initial triage on all incoming rumors on possible cases.
• A surveillance officer reports notifiable diseases to state epidemiologist, receives rumors on cases and forwards them to the surveillance supervisor to decide on further investigation.
• The surveillance supervisor coordinates the input from rumor officers and surveillance officers. He supports the rumor officer in deciding on the investigation on a new rumor.
• The case supervisor coordinates all necessary steps of handling cases, e.g. triage, transport, lab tests, decontamination. He forwards information about a suspected case to the contact supervisor.
• The contact officer conducts contract tracing within a particular district.
• The contact supervisor coordinates the work of the contact officers. He informs the case supervisor about suspected cases.

More details on the characteristics of the different personas can be found in this document

Figure: Contact tracing process for Ebola Surveillance.