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Busia County To Adopt Enhanced Syndromic Disease Surveillance System

Busia County Government Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Agribusiness is set to adopt Electronic Syndromic Disease Reporting System to enhance disease surveillance.

The decision to embrace technology following last Friday’s meeting between the County Directorate of Veterinary Services and their national government counterparts led by Dr Harry Oyasi and Naomi Kemunto in which the duo presented the Kenya Animal Bio-surveillance System (KABS) tool.

According to Oyasi the KABS which is already in use in 35 counties across the country is a much improved tool that supports the electronic syndromic disease reporting for data analysis and documentation to help in decision making.

“The tool which is simply a mobile application, will give an idea of other diseases available in the county besides capturing the exact location where the data is originating from,” he explained.

The County Agriculture and Veterinary Services Chief Officer Ruth Mukhongo appreciated the technological development saying its implementation in the border county was long overdue.

She said, “It is high time that we embrace the KABS technology, it’s a good move and will enable our people learn from other counties for timely reporting and decision making.”

For implementation of the system, the first batch of selected veterinary officers from the county will be trained on its usage after which they will be tasked to train others to boost their data management skills which is a challenge to many.

Syndromic surveillance is the process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting health related data to detect human or veterinary public health events for rapid intervention.

The objective is to identify illness clusters early before diagnoses are confirmed to mobilize rapid response and to detect zoonotic diseases before spill over to human populations.

This is achievable through the usage of an electronic data collection tool, the Kenya Animal Bio-surveillance System (KABS) which is a unique mobile application that allows surveillance officers to enter data on both healthy and sick animals into the system directly from the field using a standardized surveillance form designed for mobile devices.

The KABS is installed with disease reporting tools used by the animal sector and tailored to collect data on trans-boundary animal diseases important for detecting zoonotic endemic and emerging diseases.

These data is then used to enhance disease preparedness and guide resource allocation and disease intervention strategies

By Melechezedeck Ejakait and Mark Anyang

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