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IeDA - A digital solution to save children's lives

IeDA strengthens primary health care in rural areas in West Africa through innovation: a mobile application on digital tablets improves children’s medical treatment thanks to a better diagnosis.

IeDA* is a digital strategy supporting Universal Health Coverage in West Africa to save children’s lives. This application co-created by Tdh and the Ministry of Health in Burkina Faso has digitalised the WHO medical protocol (IMCI) and guides health personnel to diagnose sick children accurately. Data is analysed to improve the quality of care and inform decision-makers. IeDA was conceived by Tdh in 2010 as a pilot project in 39 centres in the Tougan district in Burkina Faso. Today IeDA represents one rare example of digital project at national scale in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A better diagnosis

What used to be a pilot project in one district is now a major technological innovation: by the end of 2020, IeDA was deployed in 67 per cent of all health centres in Burkina Faso, in two health districts in Mali, in Niger and in India. Thousands of health professionals use IeDA and run between 200,000 and 300,000 consultations in Burkina Faso each month. This is a major achievement for the health of children, especially in rural areas: diagnosis and treatment have improved. Thanks to an extensive network of partnerships, Tdh has enriched IeDA with new features, including point of care tests, interactive web maps and dashboards, monitoring early signs of diseases outbreaks, artificial intelligence analyses and perinatal health digitalisation.


Data to help understand the local situation

IeDA is an important source of first-hand information for the national vital statistics. The data collected in the so far more than 10 million consultations (last update May 2021) are analysed and used to improve the quality of healthcare and inform decision makers. Real-time data collection provides, with the help of artificial intelligence, valuable and essential information to monitor early warning for epidemic outbreaks.

Training staff

Through e-learning, IeDA also develops the competences of local staff in rural areas. “This is another advantage of this product: it includes coaching and supervision systems, and enables us to improve health care workers training, making them more efficient at diagnosing and treating patients,” says Thierry Agagliate, project co-founder.

Watch the interview of Karl Blanchet, research director of the IeDA project.


The goal of IeDA is to make qualitative health care sustainable in West Africa. A London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicines (LSHTM) evaluation of IeDA showed significant improvements in quality of care, a high acceptance of the approach from all levels of the health system and cost reduction after initial investments. In the health centres that have the IeDA tool, there is a 92% usage rate in the consultations of children under five. Results show a reduction between 6 and 15% of antibiotics prescription and a 50% improvement in adherence to the IMCI protocol when IeDA is used. If scaled up to the whole country, there would be between 750,000 and 1.5 million CHF savings each year.



A version customised for India is being deployed in Jharkhand state.

Tdh is preparing the field so that by 2021, the Ministry of Health of Burkina Faso can take full control of the digital solution IeDA and directly manage it.

In 2020, we completed our IeDA approach with the digitalisation of protocols for antenatal, delivery and postnatal care.

In 2018, we launched a consortium with World Vision and Action against Hunger to integrate the management of malnutrition to improve the treatment of malnourished children and ensure proper follow up. This alliance (ALeDIA) will also help reduce the fragmentation in digital health and improve data management.

*IeDA: Integrated e-Diagnostic Approach


Watch our documentary about the first years of IeDA in Burkina Faso (2017):




We are proud to work on this project with:

  • The Ministry of Health from Burkina FasoMali and Niger;

  • Dimagi (USA), our technological partner developing and maintaining the applications;

  • The LSHTM (UK), running three independent studies which evaluate the project impact, cost-effectiveness and feasibility;

  • Swiss TPH, to improve the algorithm and project analysis;

  • EPFL, working with IeDA to develop new tools to improve diagnostic of malnutrition;

  • University Hospital of Geneva (Switzerland), undertaking research to mine and extrapolate data's meaning.

  • University of Geneva for data analysis with artificial intelligence;

  • World Vision and Action against Hunger in the ALeDIA consortium to enhance the integrated approach;

  • FIND, our strategic partners to improve diagnostics at clinic level;

  • Cloudera Foundation, providing expertise and tools to analyse about a billion of data points;

  • John Hopkins University for independent evaluations.


Discover external publications on IeDA:


Using digital tools at scale: the Integrated e-Diagnostic Approach in Burkina Faso (article in Africa Health)


The use of digital tools at large scale: lessons from a health programme in Burkina Faso (article in Humanitarian Alternatives)


University of Geneva press release on artificial intelligence

"We have drastically reduced the number of incorrect diagnoses thanks to IeDA and the children benefit from better treatment."

Dr. Robert Kargougou, Secretary General for the Ministry of Health of Burkina Faso


Where we work

Supported by


Pilot project launched in three districts in Burkina Faso (Yako, Tougan, Séguénéga) with the REC (“Registre Electronique de Consultation” or Digital Patient Record System). This REC 1.0 is used on notebooks.
REC 2.0 developed and launched in the three pilot districts. The REC is now a mobile application used on a tablet.
The REC is deployed in more districts to reach 270 clinics.
E-learning application launched. Health care workers can increase their medical knowledge to better treat patients.
Version 2.7 is deployed in all centres. The new version will allow streamlining data collection and analysis.
The alliance ALeDIA is started to integrate malnutrition with childhood illnesses in one tool.
Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Health and Tdh agree on a roadmap to hand over IeDA to Burkina Faso
project started with the Geneva University and Cloudera Foundation to use artificial intelligence to analyse data collected during IeDA consultations.

Related publications

Courage no. 57 - Can digital technology save lives?
Economic impact study of the Integrated eDiagnosis Approach (IeDA)
Realist evaluation of the Integrated electronic Diagnosis Approach (IeDA)
Alliance for integrated e-DIAgnostic
IeDA impact study

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