Early warning systems and community-driven outbreak surveillance programs were not viewed as an important element to global health programs, until the Ebola virus spread through West Africa exposing the vulnerability of communities, governments, and national health systems. During 2014 and 2015, a consortium of German and Nigerian public health research institutions, coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), developed the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS ®-open). SORMAS is an online platform to quickly obtain data through the use of smart phones to collect information on epidemic prevention and control in a simple but effective manner and provide information to drive public health actions for outbreak management and control. The SORMAS prototype was tested in two federal states of Nigeria where data on cholera, measles, and avian influenza was collected under real-life conditions. The long-term development and implementation of SORMAS in West Africa is to be initiated with funding provided by The Federal Ministry of Education and Research will start with SORMAS being piloted and evaluated in one state (two districts) in Nigeria starting January, 2018. There are currently several European and African partners involved in the pilot, such as the Nigeria Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, the African Field Epidemiology Network, and companies focusing on design and information technology programming.
Scope of work
m4h was responsible for closely monitoring all SORMAS pilot planning and implementation activities. The project aim was to ensure the pilot was executed in a timely and successful manner.
The different stages of piloting SORMAS in Nigeria were:
- Pilot planning and start-up activities
- Development of SORMAS training and pilot documents
- Planning of the facilitator workshop & trainings
- Planning and execution of pilot implementation
- Pilot evaluation
- Pilot wrap-up and final reports
m4h’s main activities:
- Developed and monitored the SORMAS pilot work plan.
- Managed weekly team meetings and monthly R&D meetings.
- Participated in the SORMAS inception stakeholder workshop in Nigeria
- Created a risk matrix with corresponding mitigation measures.
- Supported communication with HZI and project partners to ensure timely implementation of project activities and meetings in Germany and Nigeria.
- Developed project document templates (standard operating procedures, checklists, and training scenarios).
- Facilitated a mid-pilot workshop on project management, communication and prioritization of project activities.
- Supported the preparation and supervision of project subcontracting.
- Supported the development and review of training materials and a peer review process.
- Developed and managed the repository document for all project documents created by project staff.