CBS Platform Alert Triggers Rapid Response to Scarlet Fever Outbreak
Since May 2018, Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) volunteers have been active in community based surveillance (CBS), aiming at early detection and response to potential outbreaks. In rural Somaliland, infrastructure and access to health care is poor, but with the new CBS platform developed by Norwegian Red Cross volunteers, SRCS volunteers can send a text message to alert when someone is sick with symptoms of epidemic-prone diseases. The cloud-based system enables real-time reporting, monitoring, and information sharing with all stakeholders and early action, so that outbreaks can be stopped before they happen. Early action is ensured through SRCS’ network of mobile clinics, serving the rural population.
In November 2018, Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) volunteers reported cases of rash and fever via SMS to the CBS platform. Thanks to the real-time reports and excellent coordination on the ground, SRCS and the Ministry of Health and Development (MoHD) were able to respond to the outbreak within 24 hours. The community and volunteers were initially worried about a potential measles outbreak, as symptoms are very similar, but luckily the cases turned out to be Scarlet Fever. SRCS Mobile Health Team provided treatment and key health information in all affected communities.