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1028 Facing information challenge in injury surveillance with open source solution
  1. Megha Ganewatta1,
  2. Achala U Jayatilleke1,
  3. Pamod Amarakoon1,
  4. Roshan Hewapathirana2
  1. 1Post Graduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  2. 2Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka


Background Injuries are a major public health issue in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) where lack of information has been identified as a key stumbling block in injury prevention. LMIC cannot afford to use proprietary software due to high costs. Currently there is a lack of free and open source (FOSS) injury surveillance systems (ISS). However, District Health Information Software version 2 (DHIS2) is a web-based generic FOSS framework which is widely implemented in over 50 countries providing a wide range of possibilities for building information systems for a range of public health issues.

Methods We decided to use DHIS2 to face the challenge of carving out an ISS out of a generic public health information system framework. Features that were lacking in the native application were improvised using JavaScript. Data elements and datasets were defined abiding the WHO guidelines. The system was piloted at a base hospital in Sri Lanka with a daily turnover of 10 injury patients and later at a tertiary care hospital with a daily turnover of 70 during past 8 months.

Results Generic DHIS2 platform was flexible enough to be customised to a functional ISS. The system inherited features inherent to the DHIS2 framework, such as data validation, data backup and handling missing information in addition to the customised injury surveillance functionalities. Further, it allowed changing data and process needs without major rework. The report dashboard had detailed visualisations where injury information could be analysed in different tabular and graphical representations. However, inbuilt graphical user interfaces and workflows seemed to restrict the efficiency of data entry to a certain extent.

Conclusions Our study reveals that DHIS2 has the potential to be customised as a low cost and sustainable ISS. The source code of our ISS is freely available and free to modify, so anyone could customise it to suite their own national needs withstanding the uniqueness of country specific ISS requirements.

  • Injury Surveillance
  • DHIS2
  • free and open source
  • LMIC

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