WHO EMRO Weekly Epidemiological Monitor: Volume 12, Issue no 45; 10 November 2019
Current major event
EWARN implementation in Djibouti
The Ministry of Health (MOH) of Djibouti in collaboration with WHO conducted a training workshop to roll out the electronic Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) to enhance epidemic intelligence capacity for early detection and response to epidemic prone diseases.
Editorial note MonitorVolume 12; Issue no 45; 10 November 2019 The current surveillance system in Djibouti is based on routine mandatory reporting of 20 diseases. For years, the surveillance system has been under performing with limited ability in detecting of outbreaks or providing reliable data to meet the objective of surveillance system. Furthermore, the country has experienced recurring outbreaks from epidemic-prone diseases and some natural disasters such as floods.
Therefore, an EWARN system is needed to fill the gaps and strength the overwhelmed routine surveillance system.
Electronic EWARN is a useful tool for countries facing emergency situations and sub-optimal health systems and it has proven performance in other EMR countries in timely detection and control of epidemic prone diseases through effective response.
In November 2019, MOH in collaboration with WHO launched the electronic EWARN in Djibouti. The required standard operating protocol and reporting tools were developed. This was precede by a training workshop to introduce the EWARN principle and the electronic application to health workers. A total of 40 surveillance officers attended the workshop from different reporting levels across the country.
Surveillance officers were trained on basic principles of early warning surveillance in emergencies; prioritization of epidemic prone disease; case definitions; thresholds for outbreak, detection and management of alerts; and basic principles of outbreak investigation and response. The roles and responsibilities of surveillance staff at different levels were also discussed . The health facility staff was trained on use of the mobile application and devices for immediate notification of alerts of suspected disease outbreaks, and for weekly reporting. Different training methods were used in terms of lectures, case studies, practical exercises and group discussions.
Enhancing EWARN system through introduction of mobile applications and real time reporting will significantly enhance the capacity of the system for early outbreak detection and response in Djibouti and will benefit the population at risk through timely response activities. The introduction of electronic EWARN in Djibouti is expected to play an instrumental role for timelu detection and response to the outbreaks by providing reliable data and monitoring performance of the interventions implemented by health authorities and partners.