Data Collection Tools

The evolution of data collection tools in Preventive Chemotherapy Neglected Tropical Diseases (PC-NTDs) has transitioned from traditional paper-based methods to modern digitalized tools and electronic platforms. Initially, data gathering for PC-NTDs relied on manual surveys, questionnaires, and health facility reports to assess disease prevalence, which was inefficient due to errors, delays, and data sharing challenges.

The shift to digital tools has revolutionized data collection and analysis. Mobile Health (mHealth) applications now support real-time field data collection, crucial for timely NTD management decisions. Geographic Information Systems (GIS), with technologies like ArcGIS and ArcPy, facilitate spatial analysis and disease mapping, identifying intervention areas. Additionally, web-based platforms and integrated systems like DHIS2 enhance data collation, visualization, and analysis.

Digitalization has improved accuracy, efficiency, and real-time disease monitoring, enabling quick adjustments in NTD programs. It has also advanced epidemiological research and intervention strategies, improving data quality and accessibility. Future trends in NTD data management include integrating AI and Machine Learning for predictive analytics, expanding mobile technology use, and ensuring interoperability among digital systems for seamless data exchange.

The digitalization of data collection tools for PC-NTDs represents a major advancement in the fight against these diseases. By embracing technology, health professionals and researchers are now equipped with more refined tools for understanding and combating NTDs, paving the way for effective control and eventual elimination strategies. As technology continues to evolve, the field of NTD management is poised to benefit from even more innovative and impactful solutions.

ESPEN Collect Platform

ESPEN, in its commitment to supporting Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Programme Managers, offers a comprehensive platform known as ESPEN Collect. Launched in August 2018, this mobile-based data collection tool has been designed to align with the meticulous standards set by WHO guidelines for conducting surveys. ESPEN ensures that each survey undergoes a protocol review by WHO disease subject matter experts, guaranteeing that all methodologies are in strict adherence to global standards.

ESPEN Collect distinguishes itself by offering both online and offline functionality and supporting multiple languages, making it highly versatile and accessible for teams in diverse geographical locations. The tool is equipped with standardized surveys accompanied by corresponding training materials, ensuring uniformity and ease of understanding across different regions.

By introducing ESPEN Collect, ESPEN significantly enhances the capacity of national NTD Programme teams, empowering them to take an active stance in the data management process. One of the platform's standout features is its real-time quality control dashboard, which meticulously highlights data discrepancies, facilitating immediate communication with field teams to address any concerns.

Moreover, ESPEN Collect serves as a robust data platform capable of integrating with national NTD or Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) databases, thereby streamlining data flow and enhancing efficiency. This integration is pivotal for Programme Managers, as it allows for the automatic generation of the Epidemiological Reporting Form (EPIRF) from completed survey results, simplifying the reporting process.

Ultimately, ESPEN Collect provides Programme Managers with the essential tools to tackle the challenge of NTD data fragmentation. By consolidating data collection, analysis, and reporting processes within a single platform, ESPEN Collect offers a unified solution to manage epidemiological survey data effectively, marking a significant step forward in the fight against NTDs.