The Use of Mobile Electronic Devices for Public Health Data Collection and Syndromic Surveillance at the Republic Of Sierra Leone Armed Forces

  • R Ansumana
  • AS Bockarie
  • P Sankoh
  • KH Jacobsen
  • AB Koroma
  • AP Malanoski
  • KA Meehan
  • T Leski
  • DH Jimmy
  • U Bangura
  • F Sahr
  • B Lin
  • DA Stenger
Keywords: mobile phones, text messaging, database management systems, census methods, sentinelsurveillance

Abstract

Public health data collection methods in Sierra Leone were compared. First, a household health census was conducted with some interviewers using paper-based forms requiring later data entry and others using tablet computers for immediate electronic data inputting. Electronic data-entry surveys were more time-efficient and accurate than paper-based surveys. In a second evaluation, military Medical Inspection rooms (MIRs) sent syndromic surveillance reports to a central communications hub via cell phone or paper-based forms. The report compliance rate was 89% for daily SMS and 100% for weekly SMS versus 76% for weekly paper reports. Electronic data collection and reporting is feasible and cost-efficient in low-resource settings.

Keywords: mobile phones, text messaging, database management systems, census methods, sentinelsurveillance

Published
2013-12-04
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2076-6270
print ISSN: 2076-6270