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“Since the EMA-i tool was implemented in the country, the number of animal diseases reported from the field has increased by 5 times”.

Stories of Change

Using a storytelling approach, this special series of short stories communicates the impact of FAO's work on prevention and response to transboundary threats, told through the voice of the individuals affected.

Animal health solutions: a digital tool to support animal disease surveillance and reporting mechanisms in Ghana

© FAO/A. Saidouni Oulebsir

The livestock sub-sector is a major feature of Ghana’s agriculture and makes a significant contribution towards meeting food needs, providing dietary protein and increasing nutrient adequacy, as well as providing employment opportunities and offering considerable prospects for wealth generation, income enhancement and improvement in rural livelihoods.

Enhancing local capacities in animal disease surveillance and reporting systems are crucial to protect livestock and people’s incomes and food security. Therefore, FAO has launched the Event Mobile Application (EMA-i) to support the surveillance and reporting mechanisms in place to monitor priority animal diseases in Ghana. The introduction of EMA-i was timely for the animal health sector in Ghana, as the country is seeking to enhance agricultural extension delivery through the use of an e-extension system for farmers. The EMA-i system complements these efforts and creates synergies with existing and upcoming e-platforms in contributing to food and nutrition security.

EMA-i is a mobile app that enables data collection and the entry, storage and analysis of epidemiological data in real time, reducing human errors and ensuring data confidentiality. The data collected are geo-referenced, so that GPS receivers in the field are not required. 

To introduce this digital tool in the country, FAO organized a training workshop on EMA-i in 2018. Thirty veterinarian staff – from the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ghana Health Service of the Ministry of Health, and the Ghana Statistical Services of the Ministry of Finance – were trained.

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