alexa The Lesson Learned from Use of Toll-Free Telephone Line
ISSN: 2157-7420

Journal of Health & Medical Informatics
Open Access

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Research Article

The Lesson Learned from Use of Toll-Free Telephone Line for Case Notification of Ebola Outbreak in Western Area, Sierra Leone

Gashu KD1*, Mgamb EA2, Ababor SA2, Alhatmy AK2 and Woldie TG2

1Department of Health Informatics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, IPH, Ethiopia

2African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), EVD Surveillance Team, Sierra Leone, West Africa

*Corresponding Author:
Gashu KD
Department of Health Informatics,
College of Medicine and Health Sciences,
University of Gondar, IPH, Ethiopia,
Tel: 251 581110243
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: June 15, 2016; Accepted Date: August 03, 2016; Published Date: August 10, 2016

Citation: Gashu KD, Mgamb EA, Ababor SA, Alhatmy AK, Woldie TG (2016) The Lesson Learned from Use of Toll-Free Telephone Line for Case Notification of Ebola Outbreak in Western Area, Sierra Leone. J Health Med Informat 7:242. doi:10.4172/2157-7420.1000242

Copyright: © 2016 Gashu KD, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 

Abstract

Background: The prompt spread and advancements of mobile technologies has come to address health priorities in generating real time information for evidence based decisions and to improve timely response to emergencies. According to WHO’s Global Observatory for electronic Health survey; most frequently reported Mobile Health initiatives were: health call centres, emergency toll-free telephone services and mobile telemedicine. Sierra Leone was one of severely affected countries in Ebola Virus Disease outbreak 2014/15. Toll-free line, Walk-Ins and Community suspects were main case notification strategies nationally affected for identifying Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) suspected cases and deaths in the community. The main objective of this study was to assess the role of Toll-free line played in the response against Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. Method: The study was based on review of records in Ebola Virus Disease alert reports of Western Area Urban and Rural from 26th January to 28th June 2015. All Ebola Virus disease suspected case and death alert records were classified based on surveillance strategies; Toll-free telephone call, Walk-Ins and Community suspects. SPSS Version 20 was used for data analysis. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was applied to evaluate the difference in number of cases and deaths notified via these surveillance strategies. P-Value was calculated and P ≤ 0.05 was reported as having significant difference in generating more suspected cases and deaths by each EVD surveillance strategies. Result: The result showed that 11,303 alerts were registered in western area within 22 weeks. Out of which 7,059 (62%) of alerts were notified by Toll-free alert. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) revealed that Toll-free telephone call based surveillance was playing significantly higher; [F (2, 63)=184.76, p<0.0001] role in generating EVD suspected cases and deaths than Walk-Ins and Community suspect strategies. Conclusion: In conclusion, Toll-free telephone line has played significantly higher role in generating EVD suspected cases and deaths in the community. Lessons shall be adopted and scaled-up by all African nations and the world at large for rapid emergency responses; however, related challenges needs to be more investigated.

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