DHIS2 News: Chile uses DHIS2 to help keep participants healthy at the 2023 Pan American Games
The Ministry of Health has deployed an electronic diseases surveillance system using DHIS2 Tracker to support public health teams and prevent outbreaks during this international sporting event in Santiago
The 2023 Pan American Games kick off in Santiago, Chile on 20 October and run to 5 November. This international sporting event – the largest multi-sport event in the Americas – brings athletes, volunteers, and spectators together from across the continent. The organizers expect 8,000 athletes from 41 countries along with 1,000,000 in-person spectators. To help ensure the health and safety of athletes during the games, the Department of Epidemiology of Chile’s Ministry of Health has implemented the RESP project – an acronym for “registration and notification of important public health events” in Spanish – utilizing the DHIS2 platform.
RESP is based on a DHIS2 Tracker program to collect individual records for the athletes participating in the game. This permits the real-time monitoring of the health of the athletes, including the mandatory notification of any event of public health interest during the games. If a significant event occurs, the program is configured to immediately notify epidemiologists and health authorities, facilitating a rapid and effective response to any eventuality.
The system has been designed to be as simple as possible, to make it easy for health staff to use. RESP has been integrated into the training course provided to health staff accompanying the visiting international delegations – which also includes information material on the specific epidemiological risks present in Chile and reinforces the importance of prompt reporting. This assures that they will be prepared to use the RESP system as intended. The training material on RESP has been integrated into the online learning platform of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), where it is available as a resource for initial and refresher training.
This year’s event is the first time the Pan American Games games have been hosted in Chile. For previous large events, the Ministry of Health used a paper-based system for epidemiological reporting, which made it difficult to coordinate timely action. The added value of DHIS2 is that notifications of potential outbreaks can be sent automatically based on the symptoms reported in the platform, allowing health authorities to promptly provide alerts and contact the affected athlete or team for disease surveillance follow up.
The Ministry of Health of Chile began deploying DHIS2 in 2022, and is currently in progress of scaling up the platform for a variety of health programs.