WHO rolls out an early warning alert and response system across Mozambique
In a joint effort, the Mozambican Ministry of Health and WHO is rolling out an early warning alert and response system, known as EWARS-in-a-Box.
WHO hopes this system will help is the detection of epidemic-prone diseases, allowing for rapid response before a large scale outbreak occurs.
Tamayi Mlanda, epidemiologist deployed by WHO to the Cyclone response in Beira, Mozambique, said:
“EWARS helps us as epidemiologists to track any reports or rumours of disease. This is really important for us to do in this situation because people do not have access to health care. When we can detect diseases early, it helps us to prevent them from spreading or developing into massive outbreaks.”
A team of epidemiologist deployed across Mozambique through WHO’s Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN), is working with the Ministry of Health to deploy these emergency disease surveillance systems to 80 sites that have been affected by Cyclone Idai.
EWARS in a box is a custom-built solution designed for use in difficult field conditions. Each box contains 60 mobile phones, laptops and a local server to collect, report and manage disease data. A solar generator and solar chargers allow the phones and laptops to function without 24-hour electricity.
WHO has trained over 50 epidemiologists, surveillance officers, health partners, clinicians and data managers in health centres and offices to use the EWARS system in Mozambique. All health data is now being fed into a common reporting system, thanks to strong collaboration between the Ministry of Health and partners including US Centers of Disease Control, Médecins sans Frontières, International Federation of the Red Cross and the Clinton Foundation.
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