Have you noticed an outbreak of mosquitoes near you?
With the rainy season in the tropics, the announcement of the explosive spread of Zika in the Americas and the alert to Europe on potential spread by the World Health Organisation, testing has begun on a new mobile technology aimed at putting power in the hands of anyone who has a smart phone to become an active participant in the international mosquito eradication effort.
This, along with establishment of a quick response network of individuals, communities, experts and officials involved are part of a concerted effort at mobilising and harnessing efforts in the fight against the deadly Zika virus, Chik-V, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Malaria and other mosquito-bourne diseases. It you want to get involved please inbox me.
|World Health Organisation|
/Pan American Health Organisation
Poster on Zika
The technology makes everyone a key player in eradication of the deadly threat of Zika and other viruses from mosquitoes and can prove to be vital in the global monitoring and surveillance efforts of notjust the spread of Zika but also on preventative actions by individuals, public health officials, scientists, governmental and intergovernmental agencies, as well as private sector and businesses working towards eradication of the disease.
It can also facilitate planning and give organisations like the World Health Organisation/Pan American Health Organisation and their aligned regional and national agencies and agents, universities, scientists, epidemiologists and researchers a clear picture of potential danger and help in the mobilisation efforts to address with effective preventative action including eradication programmes of spraying, habitat destruction that includes local level communities, groups, and individuals in the public, private, NGO and academic sectors.
The technology allows for multimedia information gathering, generation, verification, validation and management that capture data, as well as process, map, track and evaluate existence of risk conditions that will inform and mobilise preventative and proactive responses.
Among its potential spin-off benefit is its use of instant surveillance technologies that will help pinpoint and localise actual threat so limited resources can be focussed and effectively utilised.
It promises to add value and efficiency to the work of epidemiologists, pesticide and insect vector control, emergency response personnel, planners, researchers, media and other surveillance or response mobilising agents while at the same time heightening consciousness and giving individuals and communities key and active roles in the eradication and preventative efforts.
The new knowledge and information-based technology and strategy in keeping with the WHO/PAHO Zika Strategic Response Framework which has prioritised research, surveillance, risk communications and implementation of vector control strategies for prevention and control of the spread of Zika and other mosquito-bourne diseases.
It comes on the heels of the declaration by the World Health Organisation that the Zika virus, spread by the Aedes Egypti Mosquito is a public health emergency of international concern and concerns sounded by the Pan American Health Organisation about the pace of regional response to the epidemic.
Its applications and outputs can directly inform and impact local to international level mobilisation of efforts by communities as well as use of data generated by technicians, health workers, epidemiologists and scientists who are being asked to get involved in this testing phase.
Its ease of use and accessibility through a mobile App, makes it relevant to every individual of any age or level of expertise as well as those who need key information to prepare actions and responses.
This initiative, part of an exercise in corporate social responsibility is being driven by a network of private, public, academic and NGO group of concerned citizens in partnership with first world technologies of the Americas.
Testing involves tailoring both inputs and outputs of information to be responsive to the needs of various user categories, from insect vector response agents to health officials to individuals and households who find themselves potentially at risk from mosquito breeding grounds.
If you are an official, corporate entity, or individual in any region in area of research, monitoring, or mobilising action for Zika control as an international, national or local level agent and interested in utilising, partnering, sponsoring, accessing information or getting involved in this initiative please inbox me for details.
Dr Kris Rampersad is an independent sustainable development multistakeholder, multimedia educator and outreach facilitator
For Your Information
World Health Organisation Fact Sheet: Zika Virus
· Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedesmosquitoes.
· People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
· There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
· The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
· The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
· Genre: Flavivirus
· Vector: Aedes mosquitoes (which usually bite during the day with peaks during early and late afternoon/evening hours)
· Reservoir: Unknown
Signs and Symptoms
Potential complications of Zika virus disease
· Define and prioritize research into Zika virus disease by convening experts and partners.
· Enhance surveillance of Zika virus and potential complications.
· Strengthen capacity in risk communication to help countries meet their commitments under the International Health Regulations.
· Provide training on clinical management, diagnosis and vector control including through a number of WHO Collaborating Centres.
· Strengthen the capacity of laboratories to detect the virus.
· Support health authorities to implement vector control strategies aimed at reducing Aedes mosquito populations such as providing larvicide to treat still water sites that cannot be treated in other ways, such as cleaning, emptying, and covering them.
· Prepare recommendations for clinical care and follow-up of people with Zika virus, in collaboration with experts and other health agencies.