Duration: July 2012 – Dec 2012
Viet Nam is a tropical country that has a relatively high volume of infectious diseases. According to the infectious disease control law and the MOH, there are 28 infectious diseases that are under monitoring and supervision. Health staff send data on these diseases on a weekly/monthly basis to the MoH via a paper based system that passes from the commune health station, to the district health center and then the provincial levels. Private clinics and hospitals are also required to participate in this surveillance system.
The difficulties in the current system is that it is all paper based, with often incomplete and inaccurate data from communes, and districts. Therefore it is not possible to conduct an in-depth analysis. Data does not reflect real-time, and contains very basic information such as total cases, total male, female, and total deaths.
From July to December 2012, PHAD in collaboration with NIHE, UCLA and the Mailman School of Public Health conducted a trial on an Infectious Disease Surveillance System using GSM SMS in Vietnam. Two common infectious diseases were selected to be monitored: Diarrhea and an Influenza like illness. After examination and diagnosis, health staff will send information on the infectious case admitted to the clinic immediately or at any time that day using SMS from his/her cell phone to a designated number in the server in Hanoi. MoH/NIHE would then receive the information within a few seconds. Two provinces, Hung Yen and Hoa Binh, participated in the trial; each province having 2 districts and each district 5 communes.
This is the first model using SMS technology to undertake infectious surveillance in Vietnam with live data updated from all health stations/facilities. The study team expects to expand the system and reduce paper work, notification time and ensure a quicker response to reported disease outbreaks in Vietnam