Robert Nsaibirni, project coordinator, presents the principle and functioning of the Alert Covid-19 application in Niger.
Each year Epicentre organizes a Scientific Day during which the team of epidemiologists reports on the results of its latest work. This event, which brings together MSF field workers and internationally renowned experts, has become an important meeting. It allows for the sharing of knowledge and a critical look at the practice and challenges of medicine in humanitarian situations.
Robert was able to participate in this event to present the Alert Covid-19 project in Niger.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) approached the MSF Foundation and Epicentre for assistance in improving this surveillance system. Thus, a collaboration between these two entities and with Medic Mobile was put in place to develop Covid Alert 19, which has become the central pillar of the Niger MSP's response to Covid 19.
At the beginning of the crisis in Niger, the Ministry of Public Health set up a toll-free number to inform the population and allow them to report potential cases of Covid 19. These notifications were centralized on a daily basis on sheets of paper and then sent to the alert cell via Whatsapp groups. This rather unstructured system led to difficulties in terms of reactivity and confidentiality, and quickly showed its limits when the alerts multiplied because it was not possible to have a global view of the situation on the whole territory.
Alerte Covid-19 is a tool for managing, receiving and investigating Covid-19 alerts operational throughout Niger. It allows health workers and focal points of health centers and hospitals to identify and notify Covid-19 alerts on a dedicated platform that centralizes all data from the national alert center and regional alert centers. Suspected cases reported through the application are instantly redirected by region and assigned to investigators who begin an investigation in the field. Once the investigation is completed, the investigator notifies his report directly on the platform. The investigator also has the possibility to indicate the contact cases of people suspected of having been infected. To date, 97% of the alerts received have been investigated.
This application was created by the Foundation in collaboration with Epicentre, Medic Mobile and Google.org after a request from the Nigerien Ministry of Health. It has played an important role in stabilizing the health situation in Niger and studies are underway to expand its scope to other epidemics.
// Natalie Roberts
Natalie Roberts started as an emergency doctor in the MSF field and then was in charge of the emergency unit for several years. She is now project manager for our applications in Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
© Natalie Roberts/MSF
// Robert Nsaibirni
Personnal data protection manager
Robert has been in charge of data protection at Epicentre since 2018 and has been involved with the Alert Covid-19 project in Niger since 2020.
© Robert Nsaibirni
// Bachir Assao
Project field coordinator
Field project coordinator in different humanitarian contexts (epidemics, humanitarian emergencies, vulnerable populations), Bashir has been working at Epicentre since 2016 and started to get involved in the Covid-19 Alert project in 2020.
© Bachir Assao