Integrating mobile tools for surveillance, reporting and information management by Veterinary Services in Kenya
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A veterinary surveillance system functions to gather, analyse and disseminate information on animal diseases. A number of initiatives have been undertaken to enhance the veterinary surveillance system as deployed in Kenya. These include the PACE project 2003-2006, SPINAP 2008-2009 and SERECU 2010. The surveillance tools used have evolved from pen and paper to desk top / mobile devices and computer based analysis. In 2010 DFID funded the Department for Veterinary Services, Kenya to test innovative approaches involving the use of mobile technology to strengthen the surveillance system and enhancing disease reporting and information management. Mobile tools improved all indicators of an effective surveillance system. Different tools and software have comparative advantages in reporting specific events and the selection of which tool to use for which event and level of reporting were identified. A model for integration of mobile tools in surveillance was generated, a harmonized e-reporting template for district veterinary officers was developed, and the list of notifiable disease in the country was updated. It was noted that the use of mobile technology improved the timeliness of the system by 3 weeks and the cost of the information collection and flow was reduced by over 200%. The best practices and innovations identified can be up-scaled to other counties and used to guide the development of a comprehensive information management system for the veterinary services in the country.