Information systems applied to epidemiological surveillance

Computer science, GIS and modeling Animal health and emerging diseases
The establishment of epidemiological surveillance networks generates the collection of large amounts of data. These data need to be managed correctly to extract the health information that can enable animal health officials to make the most relevant intervention decisions. Due to the diversity and complexity of the data collected by surveillance networks, global information systems must be established to achieve three main objectives: the regular publication of health situation summaries, the calculation of performance indicators and the editing of network management settings.

Le système d’information géographique (SIG), partie intégrante d’un système d’information global, est un outil qui permet la représentation géographique de données spatialisées et leur analyse.

Se basant sur l’information tirée des données récoltées au travers du système d’information global, il peut permettre par exemple la représentation de tous les foyers déclarés pour une maladie, ainsi que leur évolution dans le temps et dans l’espace. Il est également facile de visualiser clairement la population animale à risque ainsi que les moyens d’intervention éventuellement disponibles sur le terrain. En permettant la construction et l’actualisation facile et rapide de cartes représentant une situation sanitaire mise en évidence par un réseau d’épidémiosurveillance, le SIG met à disposition des responsables publics de la santé animale des éléments déterminants pour prendre des décisions pertinentes et efficaces.

Gérer et traiter les données de nature épidémiologique devient ainsi une priorité pour ceux qui ont à analyser les informations collectées par un réseau d’épidémiosurveillance, ainsi que pour les unités chargées de l’intervention sanitaire sur le terrain.

A geographic information system (GIS), as an integral part of a global information system, is a tool that enables the geographic representation and analysis of spatial data.


Based on information gathered from the data collected through the global information system, it can, for example, allow the representation of all outbreaks reported for a disease, as well as their evolution in time and space. It is also easy to clearly visualize the animal population at risk as well as the means of intervention that may be available on the ground. By enabling the creation and the rapid and easy updating of maps representing a health situation highlighted by an epidemiological surveillance network, GIS provides public animal health authorities key elements for relevant and effective decisions.

The collection and processing of epidemiological data has thus become a priority for those in charge of analysing the information collected by an epidemiological surveillance network, as well as for units responsible for public health interventions in the field.


By the end of the course, participants will be able to design an information system for an epidemiological surveillance network that is intended to manage information from the field up to its presentation. This includes:

creating models for data management

analysing data through simple queries

setting up input interfaces (using Access)

conducting thematic analyses and simple queries to represent and interpret data and produce maps to support decision-making.


This course is open to veterinarians and animal scientists with responsibilities in the implementation and operation of epidemiological surveillance networks.

This course may be taken by candidates not belonging to these categories, but justifying sufficient professional experience.

Candidates must also master the French language correctly and have a good knowledge of the Windows environment, experience, albeit limited, in the handling and processing of data is a plus.

Applications, consisting of a detailed resume, a motivation letter and details about the organization managing your grant, must be sent as much as possible before October 23, 2020 , by email :

CIRAD is not able to provide scholarships. Requests should be submitted as soon as possible to : Competent national authorities in charge of livestock and / or the granting of scholarships; Cooperation and Cultural Action Services (SCAC) of the French Embassy; Embassies of other countries; International organizations (FAO, UNDP, EU, IAEA, IDB, ...); Development projects or NGOs




This module is mutualized with the Masters SEMHA and GIMAT

  • Databasesapplied to epidemiological surveillance

discovering and getting started with Access

  • GIS applied to epidemiologicalsurveillance

getting started with Quantum GIS (qGIS), mapping, formatting maps

  • Practical applications



Foreign applicants must also master the French language correctly.