iMMAP's Innovation Information System Helps Contain Cholera Outbreak in North East Nigeria

iMMAP, through its support to the Health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sectors in Nigeria played a central role in supporting efforts to scale up response, prevent deaths and contain further spread of cholera in north east Nigeria. The humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria remains severe due to ongoing conflict, continued internal displacement, and the unpredictable return of refugees from neighboring countries. The unusually heavy rains that were experienced from July up to November 2017 triggered a cholera outbreak in many areas of north eastern Nigeria, exacerbating an already severe emergency.

As part of the response, the Health and WASH Information Management Officers respectively deployed to WHO and UNICEF through iMMAP’s Standby Partnership Program (SBPP), working hand in hand with the Health and WASH Sector partners in the north east supported the response activities by conceptualizing, modeling and implementing the Cholera Response System—a mechanism to facilitate close to real-time case reporting and monitoring. System development was facilitated by a cholera monitoring and prevention framework which tracked coordination, prevention for cholera risk reduction, readiness and response monitoring powered by LGA map templates.

The system consolidated and summarized daily response data from partners’ situation reports, providing decision makers, responders and all stakeholders with visualized data the critical hotspots—with the highest suspected and confirmed cases and effectively facilitated targeted response, that also enabled Inter-Sector Working Group response to contain the outbreak.

To prevent further outbreaks in the region, WHO has swiftly intensified active case search in Muna, Dikwa, Jere and Monguno LGAs, capturing geo-coordinates to map out the localities where cases were reported, and rapidly applying epidemiological data collection tools to assess potential sources of infection, water quality, adequacy of latrines, waste disposal and hygiene practices. With the geo-coordinate mapping of sectors/areas where suspected or confirmed cases were reported, it was possible to provide guidance to the government and other partners to target, concentrate and intensify response efforts in the Sectors/areas including active case search, assessment of water and sanitation quality, line-listing of suspected cases, environmental disinfection, hygiene promotion and distribution of soap, aqua tabs and community sensitization.

iMMAP, through its standby partnership program has a workforce of seventeen operating in Nigeria. Out of these, fourteen are IMOs deployed across nine humanitarian sectors operating in Maiduguri I north eastern Nigeria. iMMAP’s workforce brings the full spectrum of data, information, knowledge, and change management skillsets, and links that expertise with thematic knowledge and expertise. iMMAP deploys this expertise to support and strengthen the work of humanitarian, recovery and development actors, facilitating them to better utilize data and information to make life-saving decisions and improve the lives of affected people.