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Community-based Surveillance System for Malaria: Linking technology, indigenous collective organization, entomology and spatially explicit models

Authors: Luis Vasco*, Instituto de GeografĂ­a, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Carlos Mena, Instituto de GeografĂ­a, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, William Pan, Global Health Institute, Duke University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Indigenous Peoples, South America
Keywords: Population health, malaria, Ecuador, monitoring, Amazon
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The expansion of productive, agricultural and livestock frontiers, as well as extractive, mining and petroleum, together with the disorderly urban growth, have caused the loss of forest cover, which at present constitutes one of the greatest threats to the Ecuadorian Amazon Region (EAR). From the perspective of public health, the best-known consequence of environmental alteration is deforestation, which contributes to (re)-emergence of infectious diseases such as malaria. In Ecuador, according to the National Direction of Epidemiological Surveillance, 947 malaria cases were reported in 2016, which represents a considerable increase compared to the 560 cases in 2015. The present research focuses on the development of a community-based surveillance system to generate an early warning system by a) Designing a low-cost technology package to monitor indigenous territories for the identification of potential malaria outbreaks; b) Implementing a community structure for the detection of presence and density calculation of different Anopheles vectors; and c) Building spatially explicit, multi-scale models for the generation of vulnerability indexes to possible malaria outbreaks. Currently, six communities belonging to Achuar ethnic group are monitored by their own members. The monitors are using an application for smartphones they helped to build in which they collect entomological, ecological and mobility related data that is uploaded into a geo-portal.

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