Digital technologies to enhance infectious disease surveillance in Tanzania: a scoping review

Umul-Khair Mustafa, KS Kreppel, J Brinkel, Elingarami Sauli

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review


Mobile phones and computer-based applications can speed up disease outbreak detection and control. Hence, it is not surprising that stakeholders in the health sector are becoming more interested in funding these technologies in Tanzania, Africa, where outbreaks occur frequently. The objective of this situational review is, therefore, to summarize available literature on the application of mobile phones and computer-based technologies for infectious disease surveillance in Tanzania and to inform on existing gaps. Four databases were searched—Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Excerpta Medica Database (Embase), PubMed, and Scopus—yielding a total of 145 publications. In addition, 26 publications were obtained from the Google search engine. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were met by 35 papers: they described mobile phone-based and computer-based systems designed for infectious disease surveillance in Tanzania, were published in English between 2012 and 2022, and had full texts that could be read online. The publications discussed 13 technologies, of which 8 were for community-based surveillance, 2 were for facility-based surveillance, and 3 combined both forms of surveillance. Most of them were designed for reporting purposes and lacked interoperability features. While undoubtedly useful, the stand-alone character limits their impact on public health surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number470
Issue number4
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Digital technologies
  • Disease surveillance and response system
  • Health management information system
  • Infectious diseases
  • Surveillance


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