USAID Program Develops Tool to Support COVID-19 Tracking in Haiti

March 20, 2020

Upon landing at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-Au-Prince, you will be tested for COVID-19. Haiti currently has very few active cases of COVID-19—two at the time of writing, March 20—but the Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (MSPP), Haiti’s Ministry of Health, is taking many such measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

One of those measures is actively tracking the disease, with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Haiti Strategic Health Information Systems (HIS) program. The HIS program has developed a COVID-19 tracker application for Haiti’s health information systems to enroll and monitor future COVID-19 patients throughout the country.

“The best way to prepare for the possible spread of COVID-19,” said DAI’s Atwood Raphael, HIS Program Chief of Party, “is by improving surveillance and ensuring systems can effectively monitor disease events and share information.”

DAI_HIS-CHIS Plaisance du Sud_40.jpgA community health worker trained on data entry on SISNU. The HIS program develops modules for the system, like the COVID-19 tracker, that make it easier for community health workers to collect data.

The HIS program has developed the COVID-19 tracker as a mobile application with two modules—one to enroll and monitor confirmed cases, another for contact tracing. The tracker has also been built so its data will be shared on the HIS national dashboard, and to allow for cross-border interoperability with other countries.

“It’s so important to Haiti that we have as full a picture as possible of the potential spread of the disease, including from cross-border sources,” said Raphael. “I’m very proud that we can work with the government to make this information more widely available.”

Additional work is currently underway with MSPP to specify the content and format of the data to be shared, and to ensure that protocols and data security are in place for such sharing.

The USAID Haiti HIS project builds the capacity of Haiti’s MSPP to take ownership of Haiti’s comprehensive health information system, the Système d’Information Sanitaire Nationale Unique (SISNU). The project strengthens SISNU by addressing technical gaps, improving data quality, and promoting SISNU governance and stewardship. These improvements allow the MSPP to reach more stakeholders, create more robust health data sets, and provide the evidence base required for better health policy decisions.

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