PAHO launches tool to investigate outbreaks

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PAHO launches tool to investigate outbreaks

(GUYANA CHRONICLE) – Go.Data, a platform that facilitates the collection, investigation and visualization of case and contact data during an outbreak, was rolled out on Monday in Mexico by the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), and the Ministry of Health of Mexico.

The tool, which can be utilized by public health professionals involved in outbreak response, allows for the collection of case data, including on laboratory results, hospitalizations and other variables, and enables the control and monitoring of contacts. It also includes a visualization of trains of transmission and the generation of epidemiological curves.

“Go.Data is a powerful tool that will enable countries of the Region to investigate cases and outbreaks, and to manage contacts relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency of international concern,” said Sylvain Aldighieri, Deputy Director of the Department of Health Emergencies at PAHO/WHO and Incident Manager for COVID-19. The workshop will also be carried out in Colombia next week and Brazil during the following week.

The tool has been used since 2019 in response to the Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, as well as for the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. WHO is now working with its member states and partners to make Go.Data available for the response to COVID-19.

“This innovative tool has allowed health professionals in the field in Africa to collect real-time digital data of people affected by Ebola, as well as information on their contacts in order to track health status and prevent expansion of the outbreak,” said Raquel Medialdea, from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and GOARN, and one of the workshop facilitators. “Go.Data is the best tool for supporting the response to COVID-19 at this stage of the epidemic,” she added.

The tool, which can be used both online and offline, using a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, can be easily adapted to any disease, outbreak and country context. Users can utilize the tool to manage cases, contacts (including follow-up lists), chains of transmission, laboratory results and the generation of resulting data analysis.

Around twenty professionals from the Ministry of Health of Mexico participated in the workshop today, that was held at the headquarters of the National Directorate of Epidemiology. A second workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 3 at the National Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca.

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