Data Analytics, Geospatial Mapping Can Improve Infectious Disease Prediction, Detection, Response, Opinion Piece Says
Devex: Opinion: Is geospatial data the key to leaving no one behind?
Jennifer Bencivenga, member of the global programs and impact team at eHealth Africa (eHA)
“…[C]omputational and technological advancement, when harnessed correctly, can help protect against cholera and similar infectious diseases. … In response to the 2018 cholera outbreak in Nigeria, eHA’s geographic information system and data analytics team worked with the [Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s] disease surveillance team and cholera technical working group to conduct a hotspot mapping of cholera, using historical outbreak data. The analysis of these datasets … helped to identify specific trends, significant cholera hotspots, and relative risk across the country. These insights were then used by the NCDC National Incident Coordination Centre to strategically plan the response and allocate resources to support affected communities. … The technology used in the eHA and NCDC project can be used to improve infectious disease prediction, detection, and response in all environments, and for underserved and hard-to-reach communities, these insights can be particularly transformative. … Integrating technology into traditional problem-solving enables us to be proactive, rather than reactive, in these efforts…” (10/31).