The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says it is exploring the 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.
CARPHA says 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 in Tobago, for the first time in an English-speaking country.
CARPHA says 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.