Surveillance in Haiti

In response to the 2010 cholera outbreak, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) established a National Cholera Surveillance System (NCSS) with technical assistance from CDC and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The NCSS was developed to address immediate needs of capturing and summarizing daily reports, operating in affected areas, and being rapidly scalable.

The NCSS is composed of both governmental and nongovernmental health facilities and collects and reports data to the MSPP by health authorities in the departments and communes. The MSPP is responsible for the management, analysis, and dissemination of all data.

Surveillance System Outputs

Haiti’s NCSS is an example of an effective surveillance system. Timely NCSS outputs helped:

  • Direct clinical practice and interventions
  • Inform need-based funding
  • Provide the Haitian government with the ability to track the epidemic and update the global community in a timely fashion
  • Facilitate the mobilization of support from technical and donor organizations

The data from the NCSS provided valuable feedback for distributing prevention and treatment resources, informing epidemiologic studies, and projecting the evolution of the epidemic. The NCSS also informed technical experts on options for the targeted use of oral cholera vaccine in Haiti.

Additionally, NCSS data have been essential in advocating for an international effort to eliminate cholera transmission on the island of Hispaniola led by the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, CDC, PAHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other partners. For more information, see the Policy and Recommendations page.

The NCSS has detected no new laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera in Haiti since February 2019external icon. This is a major step toward reaching the WHO definition of cholera elimination, whereby a country must report no confirmed cases for at least three consecutive years while having a well-functioning epidemiological and laboratory surveillance system able to detect and confirm cases. Robust cholera surveillance through the NCSS—including laboratory testing of all suspected cholera cases—will be essential to declaring Haiti free of cholera.

For more information regarding the cholera surveillance system since the start of the cholera epidemic in Haiti, read Strengthening National Disease Surveillance and Response-Haiti, 2010–2015external icon.

Read more on how CDC is supporting Haiti’s ongoing cholera surveillance effortsexternal icon.

  1. Barzilay EJ, Schaad N, Magloire R, Mung KS, Boncy J, Dahourou GA, Mintz ED, Steenland MW, Vertefeuille JF, Tappero JW. Cholera surveillance during the Haiti epidemic – the first 2 years. external iconN Engl J Med. 2013. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1204927.