Creating the future of Emergency Preparedness in Health Care.
At about 6:30 am Samson had woken up to begin to attend to his morning chores before heading to the farm. As it was the yam harvesting season, his plan was to visit his farm and those of his friends in other to fill the order they had from Lagos. Unfortunately, Samuel discovered he couldn’t see clearly. His thoughts was that he still had the heavy dose of local gin “ogogoro” taken with his friends the previous night in his system. Samson however shortly discovered that he was partially blind!
This formed part of a sequence of events that is popularly known as the Ogogoro or Irele Acute Methanol Poisoning Outbreak in 2015. The use of mobile technology deployed by InStrat to support the epidemic response instituted by the Ondo State Government through the Ondo State Ministry of Health alongside WHO, Unicef and the NFLTP of NCDC created 21st-century approach for managing outbreaks in Nigeria. In addition to this learning and an extensive research, InStrat’s CEO conceptualized the EWORs which being implemented in Ondo and Lagos State as part of the International Partnership Project (IPP) funded by the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) in collaboration with Inmarsat (UK). Like many states in Nigeria, Ondo State, has had a share of outbreaks and health epidemics.
As part of the implementation, InStrat’s team in Ondo led by Wuraola Oluyi trained the disease notification focal persons in 29 primary healthcare facilities in Ifedore LGA alongside Mr. Famokun (the State DSNO), Mrs. Adeolu Funmilola (Deputy State DSNO), Mrs Waleola Grace (LGA DSNO) and Mrs Adefusi O. Francisca (Deputy LGA DSNO). In attendance at the training was also Dr. Olagbuji (Director, Planning, Research and Statistics) representing the Executive Secretary and the Director, Medical Services and Disease Control, Dr. Folayan (Ondo State Epidemiologist) and
Dr Olagbuji stated in her opening remarks that the Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board is created to ensure sustainable growth and development in health care delivery and that facility data managers should embrace the wind of positive change blowing across the state. She noted that the OSPHCDB is strategically positioning herself as a pacesetter PHCDB in Nigeria with the various partnerships including those with InStrat that leverages technology to optimize operational processes and generate better results. She went further to allay the participants fear on any complications attached to the use of the application stating that EWORs is user-friendly and that paying close attention and assimilation during the training would ensure easy take off of the pilot project and subsequent scale-up upon successful pilot implementation and acceptance by the government. Dr. Folayan remarked that innovation such as the EWORS will help further improve the quality of epidemic preparedness and response strategies and by extension health care delivery in Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole. Ondo State DSNO, Mr. Falokun lauded InStrat’s ingenuity in creating EWORs and working in partnership with Ondo State.
InStrat’s Director of Operations, Abiola Oshunniy was on ground to take the participants through the early warning outbreaks and recognition system with a case study of the 2015 Irele methanol poisoning incidence and how such occurrence could be avoided in the future using EWORs. He showed the audience how EWORs draw potential disease outbreak pattern from data collected at the facilities and pharmaceutical stores in the LGA and how the system triggers an alert in case of an established disease model. More emphasis was placed on the far reaching importance of EWORs as a mobile application that optimizes resources in printing paper forms, lengthy time in data uptake, submission and upload as well as data validation and availability to stakeholders at the LGA, State, and Federal levels. The training also included an intensive practice session.
A participant while appreciating InStrat on behalf of other facility data managers at Ifedore LGA after the training session promised prompt, accurate and regular data capture on EWORs as well as careful handling of the tablet devices.
The EWORS will become operational from September 2017 in Ifedore LGA, Ondo State.