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COVID-19 Surveillance, Response & Vaccine Delivery Toolkit

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world have used DHIS2 for COVID response, including to accelerate case detection, inform response measures, and monitor equitable delivery of COVID-19 vaccines

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    DHIS2 for COVID-19: Local innovation & global response

    When COVID-19 began spreading in early 2020, no countries had digital systems in place specifically designed to respond to this new pandemic. However, many low- and middle-income countries were already using DHIS2 to collect and analyze health data for public health programs, including several that had begun to use DHIS2 for infectious disease surveillance, building on features and lessons learned from the 2014 Ebola epidemic. This allowed countries around the world–with the support of the HISP network, their own national DHIS2 teams, and core team at the HISP Centre–to rapidly develop and deploy digital tools using DHIS2 to aid COVID-19 response, including modules for COVID testing, contact tracing, port of entry screening, and vaccination programs. As a result, DHIS2 was evaluated as a leading digital solution for COVID-19 response by Johns Hopkins University, the CDC, and Digital Square, and quickly adopted by countries around the world.


    Explore the map below to see where the DHIS2 COVID-19 toolkits have been used, and click on countries with an “i” icon to learn more about how DHIS2 was used to make an impact in that country’s COVID-19 response.

    By the end of 2023, 59 countries had deployed DHIS2 for COVID-19 disease surveillance, vaccination, or both, a testament to the importance of strong routine systems, in-country capacity, and local ownership of the technology when responding to an urgent crisis. This rapid scale up in country implementation and innovation was made possible by emergency COVID-19 funding for the HISP network from the US CDC, Norad, and Gavi. For many countries, this resulted in a significant increase in DHIS2 technological capacity and system scope, with the introduction or scale-up of Tracker as a tool for digital management of individual patient data and Android for mobile data collection, as well as the strengthening of DHIS2 for immunization and Disease Surveillance programs. It also represents an opportunity, as the pandemic winds down, for countries to leverage these COVID-19 investments to strengthen their routine health systems.


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    Success Stories

    Browse a selection of stories from countries that have deployed DHIS2 in the fight against COVID-19. Visit our COVID Success Stories page for more.

    A mind-boggling achievement in a classic video game reveals wider lessons about the extreme limits of human performance, says cognitive scientist Tom Stafford.

    For decades, it was a feat that was considered impossible.

    In the dying days of 2023, US teenager Willis Gibson – online handle “Blue Scuti” – “beat” the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the video game Tetris, which was first released in 1989.

    The original Tetris designers thought it couldn’t be done – the game is designed to play endlessly. The pieces fall faster and faster until a player is overwhelmed. To beat the game, a player has to achieve scores so high that the game’s memory banks overload and it crashes. Victory is achieved because the computer simply cannot continue.

    As a professor of cognitive science, I’m interested in how people acquire expertise, particularly in video games, so when Gibson performed his dizzying feat, it immediately caught my eye. How this 13-year-old did it tells us a lot about how the limits of human performance are changing in the digital age.

    DHIS2 COVID-19 health data toolkits

    WHO-DHIS2 health data toolkits are designed to accelerate high quality implementation of health information systems and digital solutions for public health programs. HISP worked with global and local partners to develop DHIS2 toolkits to support COVID-19 surveillance and national vaccine delivery plans. These installable metadata packages facilitate uptake of global data standards and best design practices in national Health Management Information Systems (HMIS), while enabling flexibility for localization and customization for country workflows. Accompanying technical guidance, implementation guides, and training materials have helped countries to hit the ground running and implement fit-for-purpose solutions to curb the pandemic in a matter of days.

    Click on the page links below to learn more about the DHIS2 COVID-19 toolkits: