An EpiHack event was organized and held at the Mount Meru Hotel located in Arusha, Tanzania on December 8th-12th 2014. The event was co-hosted by the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS), Eastern African Integrated Disease Surveillance Network (EAIDSNet), Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance Network (CORDS) and Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases, and Disasters (InSTEDD). It was funded by the US-based Skoll Global Threats Fund. The objectives for this event were:
- To bring together health experts (from animal and human health sectors) and ICT programmers to collaborate to provide solutions to challenges facing disease surveillance and response in Southern and Eastern Africa.
- To build and strengthen cross-border working relationships between six countries (Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) in one health disease surveillance.
- To collaboratively prototype a fit for purpose digital solution to detect infectious disease outbreaks through strengthened inter sectoral and cross-border disease surveillance.
During the five days of the EpiHack event, four prototypes relevant to improving disease surveillance and response were developed. Namely:
- Official data collection from facility-based disease surveillance reporting system (targeting submitting real-time disease reporting data).
- Contact tracing (digital solution to support official tracking of potential disease outbreaks including identification of affected households or livestock herds and their locations to aid outbreak investigation).
- Community-based participatory disease surveillance through feedback from experts on likely diagnoses to trigger focused follow-up investigations.
- Feedback: two-way communication to facilitate prompt feed-back to health facilities/communities and enhance interaction between the community and sub-national (district) health systems.
For more event information visit website
Credit note: Dr.Esron Karimuribo for providing EpiHack Tanzania information