Emergency management program
eHA works on Ebola outbreak response efforts in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. We provide logistics and data management support, which has significantly reduced the response time to procure test results, and streamlined the processes of tracing and monitoring potentially infectious individuals. In Nigeria we led the development of Ebola Emergency Operations Centers (EEOC), and an electronic contact tracing system which contained the outbreak, limiting transmission to only 20 cases. The rapid mobilization in Nigeria and eHA’s effective use of technology received international praise.
eHA’s Ebola work focuses on the following areas:
- Data Management Tools: Sense provides field contact tracers with real-time reporting and GPS tracking capabilities, and we have developed an application that provides information on all current contacts and EVD cases. Field trackers report symptoms of contacts and capture their GPS whereabouts within a Case Management dashboard.
- Call Center Management and Applications: eHA operates call centers in Guinea and Sierra Leone, and provides the Liberian emergency call line with our custom Ebola call center software. Call lines notify district offices of potential new cases and hotspots, and provide callers with accurate protection information.
- Emergency Operation Center Management and Construction: The EEOC provides designated workspace to coordinate and plan activities, and technological resources to develop initiatives. eHA provides assistance to government partners to build centers, long-term center management, and technical support.
- Logistics and Technical Support: eHA offers workspaces, technical support, internet, and power backup to all of our partners. We can rapidly procure, and provide management, and distribution services for critical equipment including vehicles and laptops.
- Data collection tools: eHA developed data collection tools, communications technologies to connect facilities and health workers, and health information systems which have improved information flows between partners. eHA is committed to working with governments and partners to increase local technological capacity, and strengthening national and local health systems to develop a health emergency response sector that will prevent outbreaks from turning into epidemics.
Ebola work in Liberia
eHA, with support from CDC and the CDC Foundation, began in September 2014 to build and operationalize key programs in the immediate response effort. This included disseminating response infrastructure at the regional level, and construction support for county-level Emergency Operations Centers. eHA supplies software to Liberia’s emergency call line for instant direct system-generated alerts to the appropriate regional response centers.
eHA established and has staffed county support teams to extend medical, data, and logistical support to rapid response facilities, and community care centers across the country. We are constructing and providing reliable communication infrastructure and technology for the first permanent National Emergency Operations Center in Monrovia.
Since September, eHA has focused on providing response coordination, logistical support, and data management assistance to governmental and NGO partners. Our partnership with regional telecom company AFCOM led to improvements in 117, the toll-free Ebola call line. eHA grew the line from only six operators taking 200 calls per day, to 150 AFCOM staff rotating into 60 operator desks, staffed 24 hours a day. This increased response capacity sevenfold; and 1500 daily calls are now taken. eHA’s Call center software was installed at District Level Alert Centers, and automatically routes the cases to a district level alert center. This gives district surveillance responders and burial teams the information they need to act.
eHA’s team in Sierra Leone is invested in supporting a network of EOCs throughout the country. The EOCs have strengthened regional health crisis management and build lasting Ebola outbreak response systems.
eHA’s Guinea team began building the Emergency Operations Center in Conakry in October 2014. We provide ongoing support to the EOC in data management, communication infrastructure, and technological maintenance. eHA provides procurement and management of a fleet of 100 vehicles and 325 motorcycles for EVD response fieldwork.
Guinea’s EOC only had four working phones, and the majority of callers received an unavailable message. With eHA’s involvement, there are now 30 operator desks available 24 hours a day, responding to an average of 1000 calls daily. The software also provides district responders instant alerts of new cases and burial pickups.
eHA’s involvement means that the EOC now has high-speed Internet, hardware and communications equipment, staff training, and power generators for backup are now at the prefecture level. eHA supports data management efforts on behalf of the World Health Organization, digitizing existing paper-based processes to allow the WHO to make evidence-based decisions for resource allocation and a targeted response.