Development and Piloting of National Injury Surveillance System of Sri Lanka (NISSSL) Project Period: Jan-June 2013

Author (s): 

Dr. Achala Javatilleke

Injury Surveillance in Sri Lanka:

  • Injury surveillance was a long felt need in SL
  • Piloted an injury surveillance system in 2008
  • System was evaluated in 2011
  • Major drawback - lack of facilities to accommodate changes of the data collection tool without a system change and sustainability
  • Recommended to establish a new system


  • To develop and pilot web-based National Injury Surveillance System for Sri Lanka (NISSSL)


Activities completed during the project period:

  • Reviewed the previous injury surveillance system
  • Analyzed system requirements - Stakeholders were identified and had meetings and interviews with - System requirement specifications were listed
  • Revised and developed the data collection tool – Injury Surveillance Record ( ISR)
  • Developed in-house web-based software using free and open source resources
  • Piloted the system at Base Hospital, Horana


  • Generic and flexible electronic questionnaire
  • No system change is required to incorporate new data elements
  • Can handle single and multiple answers at any level
  • Data validation is done at every possible stage
  • Can operate with minimum internet facilities
  • Improved data recovery options
  • Flexible report generation facility

Issues Identified:

  • Lack of guidelines for government institutions
  • Not having unique Bed Head Ticket (BHT) number or unique patient identification number i.e. Health Identification Number (HIN)
  • Sustainability
  • Need of dedicated staff (Medical officers/Nurses)
  • Supervision
  • ICD 10 knowledge
  • Not having a trauma registry


  • Scale up the NISSSL to the next level
  • Ministry of Health to issue a circular introducing injury surveillance activities to the current health care system
  • Re-structuring/establishment of injury surveillance units
  • Job description of relevant employees and release them from their routine duties
  • Capacity building
  • Training on ICD-10 coding for medical officers in the curative sector
  • Establishment of trauma registry
  • Guidelines on unique method to issue BHT Number for all hospitals in SL
  • Introduction of unique personal identification number other than National Identity Card number to health care system. This can be Health Identification Number (HIN). 
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