Four members of staff from the UK’s Department for International Development bilateral health program in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Accès Aux Soins de Santé Primaires, have been requested by the Ministry of Health to support critical Ebola data-visualization work as part of the response to the current outbreak in western DRC.
This work includes support to set up the electronic database—as part of the national DHIS2 system—to capture patient and contact data, and to monitor and evaluate information as it becomes available through data dashboards.
The DHIS2 health information system was introduced to DRC through ASSP in 2014 and by December 2016 was used by all 516 health zones for routine data collection. ASSP, also known as the Access to Primary Health Care project, supports nearly 9 million people across 52 health zones in five Provincial Health Divisions: Kasai, Kasai Central, Nord-Ubangi, Maniema and Tshopo. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, IMA works alongside partners SANRU, Pathfinder, Tulane University, IntraHealth, HISP and BAO Systems to reduce morbidity and mortality in women and children under 5 by strengthening the national health system.
Since the World Health Organization reported the start of the outbreak on May 10 in Equateur province, there have been at least 39 cases reported, including 19 deaths. Since then, the Ministry of Health determined the outbreak has spread to the Wangata health zones, which includes Mbandaka, a densely populated city that lies on the Congo River.
IMA has worked in close concert with the DRC’s Ministry of Health, faith-based organizations and networks, civil society organizations, and international health agencies to confront and control nascent Ebola outbreaks since 1995.