In Senegal, the process of implementing the CBS platform has started. 24 participants attended a "training of trainers"-course, so they can train other CBS volunteers in community-based health, first aid (CBHFA), and in epidemic control for volunteers (ECV), which are important aspects when responding to SMS reports coming into the CBS platform.
The 24 participants were mainly Red Cross instructors and supervisors who will be taking part in the implementation of the CBS platform, following up on the volunteers, the alerts and the response mechanisms. They will be training the 300 community-based volunteers in Kaolack who will be collecting the CBS SMS data and conducting community-based activities for epidemic prevention and response.
The Red Crescent Society in Somaliland (SRCS) have used CBS since May 2018 to early detect and react on possible outbreaks, so outbreaks can be stopped before they happen.
We have seen several examples of CBS working in Somaliland. For instance, in November 2018, SRCS volunteers reported cases of rash and fever via SMS to the CBS platform. Thanks to the real-time reports and excellent coordination on the ground, SRCS and the Ministry of Health and Development (MoHD) we were able to respond to the outbreak within 24 hours. The community and volunteers were initially worried about a potential Measles outbreak, as symptoms are very similar, but luckily the cases turned out to be Scarlet Fever. SRCS Mobile Health Team provided treatment and key health information in all affected communities.
In March 2019 a cyclone hit the coast of Mozambique, destroying most of the city Beira. With the disaster came also cholera, and the Norwegian Red Cross was asked to help for the deployment of the CBS platform.
CBS was set up in 10 Oral Rehydration Points around in the city. The volunteers in Red Cross was trained in how to detect and report potential acute watery diarrhoea. 6000 reports were sent from the volunteer, enabling Red Cross, the ministry of health and other partners to react on health risks in real-time. By being able to get indications of what was happening at the community level, Red Cross was able to respond and assist where and when needed — there by working effectively to limit outbreaks and save lives.