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Community-based surveillance and Nyss

Community-based surveillance and the platform Nyss enable prevention, identification and response to disease outbreaks, through early warning and early response.

Community-based surveillance (CBS) is the systematic detection and reporting of events of public health significance within a community by community members. Many outbreaks begin with a cluster of unwell people or sudden deaths in a community which are not detected early enough by traditional surveillance systems.

Community feedback

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement consists of a network of 17 million active volunteers worldwide. By using feedback from community volunteers, we can collect, analyze and interpret information on local health risks to prevent, identify and respond to disease outbreaks. As early warning of health risks leads to early action and lives saved, community-based surveillance can stop disease outbreaks from turning into large scale epidemics and pandemics. 

Core CBS software

The ability to scale up CBS-efforts demands remote data collection and communication and automation through technology. As such, the software platform Nyss has been developedintended to be the core software solution for CBS movementwide: 


​Nyss allows for real-time detection, reporting, aggregation, and analysis of information on community health risks, which helps health authorities act faster and save lives! The platform supports volunteers, staff and delegates, from local to global levels, in decision-making for epidemic response based on reliable information.  

Illsutrasjon av mennesker i tre grupper

Volunteers are trained to recognize signs and symptoms of epidemic-prone diseases, and given a simple phone to be the focal point in their community for reporting health risks. They do so by sending short, coded SMS. Nyss receives the SMS reports; aggregates and analyzes the data and sends automatic alerts in real-time to the Red Cross Red Crescent and health authorities when their attention is needed. 

Nyss has been developed by Norwegian Red Cross, in cooperation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Belgium Red Cross. The platform has been created through extensive collaboration between the technology industry, academia, the Red Cross and humanitarian sector, and with the amazing support and contributions from more than 250 volunteers globally.

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