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PLoS One. 2015 Jun 26;10(6):e0131000. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131000. eCollection 2015.

Innovative Technological Approach to Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response in Nigeria Using the Open Data Kit and Form Hub Technology.

Author information

African Field Epidemiology Network, Abuja Office, Abuja, Nigeria.
UNICEF Office, Lagos, Nigeria.
Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria.
WHO Country Office, Abuja, Nigeria.
Lagos State Ministry of Health, Lagos, Nigeria.
Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Lagos, Nigeria.
Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria.


The recent outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa has ravaged many lives. Effective containment of this outbreak relies on prompt and effective coordination and communication across various interventions; early detection and response being critical to successful control. The use of information and communications technology (ICT) in active surveillance has proved to be effective but its use in Ebola outbreak response has been limited. Due to the need for timeliness in reporting and communication for early discovery of new EVD cases and promptness in response; it became imperative to empower the response team members with technologies and solutions which would enable smooth and rapid data flow. The Open Data Kit and Form Hub technology were used in combination with the Dashboard technology and ArcGIS mapping for follow up of contacts, identification of cases, case investigation and management and also for strategic planning during the response. A remarkable improvement was recorded in the reporting of daily follow-up of contacts after the deployment of the integrated real time technology. The turnaround time between identification of symptomatic contacts and evacuation to the isolation facility and also for receipt of laboratory results was reduced and informed decisions could be taken by all concerned. Accountability in contact tracing was ensured by the use of a GPS enabled device. The use of innovative technologies in the response of the EVD outbreak in Nigeria contributed significantly to the prompt control of the outbreak and containment of the disease by providing a valuable platform for early warning and guiding early actions.

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