Plan for Strengthening Integrated Disease Surveillance Systems in Sierra Leone
Mohamed Alex Vandi and colleagues at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone together with Umar N’jai of the University of Sierra Leone will develop a plan to strengthen and integrate the national capacity for disease surveillance in Sierra Leone to better prevent, detect and respond to diseases and public health emergencies. Sierra Leone has a fragile healthcare system, and increasing coordination, human resources, infrastructure and reporting tools would make it less susceptible to epidemic threats. The plan will involve strengthening the existing disease surveillance systems for human, animal and environmental health by integrating them and enabling data sharing and interoperability, and enhancing data quality and integrity. They will also plan the production of early warning systems, which will involve building and integrating a national mortality surveillance platform, and the development of a national protocol for ongoing surveillance of cases of acute febrile illnesses and viral hemorrhagic fevers, many of which remain undiagnosed.