Main Article Content

Evaluation of viral haemorrhagic fever surveillance system with focus on Ebola virus disease, Bawku municipality- Upper East Region, Ghana, 2011- 2015

Francis Broni
Joseph O. Larbi
Edwin A. Afari
Kofi M. Nyarko
Donne K. Ameme
Ernest Kenu


Background: We evaluated the Viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) surveillance system from 2011 to 2015 in the Bawku Municipality, Upper East region, Ghana to determine whether the goals of the surveillance system are being met and to assess the performance of the system attributes.
Design: Descriptive secondary data analysis.
Setting: Bawku Municipality
Data Source: Review VHF surveillance records, interviewed community-based surveillance volunteers (CBSVs) and reviewed vital events registers. We also assessed the system attributes by reviewing records and interviewing key stakeholders involved in VHF surveillance system with focus on Ebola using checklist and semi structured questionnaire developed based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Main outcome measure: System attributes of the VHF surveillance system
Results: Population under surveillance was 105,849. The system required detail information about suspected cases. However, it had a simple and clear standard case definitions, and was well integrated with the IDSR. There is a regular and timely flow of information. The system captured 155 suspected cases nationwide from 2011 to 2015 and all tested negative. Of these, Upper East Region reported 10 suspected cases including 4 suspected cases from Bawku Municipality.
Conclusion: The VHF surveillance system achieved its objectives. However, poor data quality, inadequately trained surveillance officers, and inadequate financial support are threats to the effectiveness of the system.
Keywords: Viral haemorrhagic fever, surveillance system evaluation, attributes, Bawku Municipality, Ghana
Funding: This work was supported by Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (GFELTP), University of Ghana