FAO provides EpiCollect data collection technology training for use in fight against Ebola (en ANGLAIS)

FAO provides EpiCollect data collection technology training for use in fight against Ebola (en ANGLAIS)

03/08/2014

FAO is supporting the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH) to maintain an active surveillance system for tracking and monitoring trends and outcomes of the prevalence of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country.

FAO has provided a two-day training session and several high-tech IT equipment including 18 tablet PCs and one computer with accessories. They will be used in the EpiCollect data collection and storage technology to enable staff of the MoH to collect, store and monitor data emanating from Ebola cases in the counties. The effort is essential in monitoring, reclassifying cases, alerting new cases and contacts and carrying out post-epidemic evaluation.

Presenting the IT equipment to the MoH in Congo Town, FAO’s Assistant Country Representative for Administration, Mrs Thelma Dahn-Debrah, pledged FAO’s total commitment to the fight against the deadly disease. She said FAO was ready to work with the MoH and other partners in addressing the national emergency.

The Director of M&E at the Health Ministry, George P. Jacobs, lauded the effort and said FAO’s support is essential in collecting and transmitting data on the Ebola Virus Disease via the Internet. He said the technology could further be used for the Ministry’s annual accreditation or quality survey as well as to strengthen routine surveillance for diseases under active observation.

According to FAO, the capacity for the current surveillance response is sufficient but there are material gaps that impede the full functionality of the surveillance response. It is therefore a matter of urgency that the surveillance operational centres be established and maintained in the response counties and at the central unit.

In March 2014, Liberia confirmed the first case of Ebola Disease. To-date, the epidemic shows no signs of ending with new cases and deaths reported daily from Lofa, Montserrado and other adjoining counties.