The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is exploring the novel use of mobile technology in its fight against mosquito borne diseases.
The Agency in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently pilot tested an app developed to replace traditional paper-based vector collection tools used in the field.
The App uses modern technology, such as satellite imagery and Global Positioning System (GPS) to indicate the location of breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in communities.
This is a significant step in the prevention and control of mosquito borne diseases which continue to impact the Caribbean’s health and economic sectors. Recent outbreaks of Zika in 2016 and Chikungunya (2014), have highlighted the need to collect and review data, in order to prevent and respond to epidemics in a timely manner.
The Epi Info Vector Surveillance App developed by CDC was piloted for the first time in an English-speaking country – Tobago. It is designed to improve data quality, deliver data in real time, and save critical time in both the field and the office. The testing activity is expected to continue through the end of September 2017, after which, the App will be finalized and made available free of charge on the android platform.
Dr C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA said “This App is a useful tool for vector control surveillance and can assist CARPHA Member States to review and implement appropriate vector control measures.”