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Guinea’s Readiness Response to Ebola: Strengthening Data Availability and Use

by on September 25, 2018

Guinea's Readiness Response to Ebola: Strengthening Data Availability and UseA serious outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea in 2014 resulted in 3,801 recorded Ebola cases and 2,533 recorded deaths—the highest mortality rate (66%) from Ebola in West Africa. Disruptions caused by the outbreak were inevitably felt throughout the healthcare system, leading the international community to call for investment to strengthen a weakened healthcare infrastructure. The urgency of the Ebola response challenge led to a heightened awareness of shortcomings in the nation’s health information system (HIS) and accelerated the search for appropriate digital data platforms, including electronic and mobile data systems. It also led to consideration of the potential of digital technology to contribute to the restoration and long-term resilience of the health system. In September 2015, MEASURE Evaluation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), embedded two senior advisors in the Ministry of Health (MOH) to begin developing an environment that would support creation of a health information strategy, work to strengthen health data collection in the routine health information system (RHIS), and support efforts to strengthen the organizational infrastructure within the MOH.

By December 2017, Guinea’s RHIS environment had these fundamental elements in place:

  • A DHIS 2 platform established and functional nationwide down to districts and prefectural hospital levels (100%)
  • A national five-year HIS strategic plan and a costed operational plan developed and updated RHIS guidance documents developed for national use (IPs then collaborated to disseminate them for use at lower levels throughout the country); MEASURE Evaluation led the technical assistance (TA) and paid for piloting and rollout of DHIS 2 (training, equipment, supervision visits, maintenance, Internet fees, etc.) in more than half of the country (three regions: Conakry, Kindia, and Labé) and provided TA when possible to other regions that requested it.
  • Data review meetings conducted at regional, district, and health facility levels; data dashboards and data visualizations developed at the district level; and national RHIS quarterly bulletins published

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