Community based surveillance

A Red Cross and Red Crescent Project

Red Cross Car

What is CBS?

Community based surveillance (CBS) is the systematic detection and reporting of events of public health significance within a community by community members.

Together with the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, the Norwegian Red Cross is building a tool which allows local volunteers to send an SMS when they see a health risk in their communities.As early warning of health risks leads to early action and lives saved, community based surveillance can stop disease outbreaks from turning into large scale epidemics.

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Technical volunteers

200 digital volunteers have contributed to developing the CBS platform


Preparedness programs

CBS is implemented in local communities to trigger rapid response to reports of health risks in Somaliland and Senegal


Emergency response
CBS was used as a data collection tool from oral rehydration points during the cholera outbreak in April-May 2019 in Mozambique.

Read about the CBS implementations

Get to know the project

Senegalese Red Cross Society

In Senegal, the CBS tool will be implemented in several regions to detect health risks. 24 Red Cross instructors were recently trained in leading and training their volunteers to start reporting on health risks.

Red Crescent Society in Somaliland

The Red Crescent Society in Somaliland (SRCS) has used CBS since May 2018 to early detect and react to possible outbreaks.
Currently, 75 volunteers are active in CBS.

Mozambique Red Cross Society

In March 2019 a cyclone hit the coast of Mozambique, destroying most of the city Beira. With the disaster came Cholera, and the Norwegian Red Cross deployed the CBS platform for data collection from Oral Rehydration Points.

CBS in the world

Here is an overview of implementations done by Red Cross with the CBS platform, including early stages of the platform.

Hover over the pins to see where and when the platform has been implemented.

Feedback from CBS users

"We are now tracking all cases, and we are responding earlier, before we get an outbreak."

Kaltun Hussein Dahir

Red Crescent Society in Somaliland

"CBS has been really useful here [Mozambique,2019] because its easy to roll out, and it is an easy learning curve for the volunteers."

Richard White

CBS delegate in Mozambique