Guidance, tools and support for countries transitioning to digital, case-based surveillance for TB

26 July 2022 | Geneva -- Over 300 representatives from countries and partners joined the webinar on “Strengthening TB surveillance: supporting countries to transition to case-based, digital surveillance”.

Strengthening TB surveillance systems is one of the strategic areas of work of the World Health Organization (WHO). Strong surveillance systems that produce reliable and high-quality data are essential to understanding the magnitude of TB burden and what impact our programmatic interventions are having. WHO is leading the effort to support countries transition to more robust, digital, case-based, real-time surveillance systems for TB.

The webinar was organised by WHO on 8th July 2022 in two sessions, to allow participation from all time zones. Presentations from WHO and partner agencies, the Global Fund, and the University of Oslo (UiO), showcased the guidance, tools and support available to countries for implementing digital, case-based surveillance for TB. Lessons learnt from recent implementation efforts in countries were also shared, including a presentation from the National TB Programme, Tanzania.

More specifically, the webinar comprised of:

  • An overview of already available, as well as upcoming, WHO guidance and tools to support the transition to digital, case-based surveillance for TB. This highlighted the importance of a unified, digital environment for the collection, analysis and use of data all along the full pathway of prevention, and care for people with TB disease.
  • An introduction to, and a live demonstration of, the WHO DHIS2 TB tracker for patient surveillance and the monitoring of programmatic activities. This showcased the features available within the DHIS2 digital packages for tuberculosis surveillance and explored the different scenarios available to countries for implementing these packages.
  • The dissemination of best practices emerging from a multi-country evaluation of the implementation of the DHIS2 TB tracker, that have been found to support successful implementation. These include: the importance of political commitment, health information system stakeholder involvement, TB programme ownership and coordination of the implementation process, and the existence of supportive policies on data governance in the health sector. Tanzania’s experience informed participants that the implementation of digital surveillance is a long process that requires commitment, close monitoring of the process, and a continuous adaptation of the system to meet emerging needs of the TB programme.

WHO, the Global Fund and the University of Oslo emphasized their roles in providing programmatic, technical and financial support to countries for the implementation of DHIS2 digital packages for TB. The Global Fund presented the options available under their purview, for eligible countries, urging these countries to plan, prioritize and budget for digital surveillance in the upcoming round of submissions starting in early 2023. The University of Oslo presented on the several regional networks that are available for technical support to countries. WHO provided an overview of their role in guiding, as well as providing and coordinating support to countries.

Recordings of the webinar are available here, in English, with available translations in Arabic, French and Russian.

Source: WHO

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By World Health Organization

Published: July 26, 2022, 12:48 p.m.

Last updated: July 31, 2022, 11:49 a.m.

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