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Honduras uses tech to tackle dengue fever

International 22 Nov, 2019 Follow News

Honduras uses tech to tackle dengue fever

Honduras is relying on high-tech mapping and mobile phone apps to combat dengue fever as the Central American nation struggles to contain the worst outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease on record.

Honduras has one of the Americas' highest incidence rates of dengue, with some 92,000 suspected cases of the infectious disease and 250 deaths recorded this year, according to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).

Across the Americas, more than 2.7 million people have caught the virus and 1,206 have died so far in 2019, making this year's dengue fever outbreak the highest on record in the region, according to latest PAHO figures.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said it is using GIS mapping technology and a mobile phone app as key tools to combat the virus and plan their work.

The technology allows health workers to identify dengue hotspots and direct prevention and awareness-raising campaigns to the most-affected areas.

Using a mobile app to record data, about 20 MSF health workers have been asking residents up to 10 questions about the dengue virus and what is being done to prevent its spread in their neighbourhoods.

Questions include whether residents have cleaned water tanks and buckets in their homes - ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes - and when local authorities have carried out fumigation, or whether any relative has caught dengue.

The data, along with the GIS maps produced based on data collected by MSF, health authorities and public hospitals, allows health workers to build a timely geographic overview of areas where the virus is most acute and in need of targeting.


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