Merali S, Asiedu-Bekoe F, Clara A, Adjabeng M, Baffoenyarko I, Frimpong JA, et al. (2020) Community-based surveillance advances the Global Health Security Agenda in Ghana. PLoSONE 15(8): e0237320.
Ghana Health Service (GHS) has strengthened community-based surveillance (CBS) to facilitate early detection and rapid reporting of health events of all origins. Since June 2017, GHS has employed an event-based surveillance approach at the community level in a phased manner. CBS coverage has broadened from 2 to 30 districts across Ghana. Through this effort, capacity was built across all administrative levels in these districts to detect, report, triage, and verify signals, and to perform risk assessment and investigate events. Data were collected and analyzed during an evaluation of initial 2-district implementation in March 2018 and during expanded 30-district implementation in March 2019. Between September 2018 and March 2019, 317 health events were detected through CBS. These events included vaccine-preventable disease cases, acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis outbreaks, clusters of unexpected animal deaths, and foodborne illness clusters. Eighty-nine percent of the 317 events were reported to district-level public health staff within 24 hours of detection at the community level, and 87% of all detected events were responded to within 48 hours of detection. CBS detected 26% of all suspected vaccine-preventable disease cases that were reported from implementing districts through routine disease surveillance. GHS strengthened CBS in Ghana to function as an early warning system for health events of all origins, advancing the Global Health Security Agenda.