The world in your hands: GeoHealth then and now

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Robert Bergquist *
Samuel Manda
(*) Corresponding Author:
Robert Bergquist | editor@geospatialhealth.net

Abstract

Infectious diseases transmitted by vectors/intermediate hosts constitute a major part of the economic burden related to public health in the endemic countries of the tropics, which challenges local welfare and hinders development. The World Health Organization, in partnership with pharmaceutical companies, major donors, endemic countries and non-governmental organizations, aims to eliminate the majority of these infections in the near future. To succeed, the ecological requirements and real-time distributions of the causative agents (bacteria, parasites and viruses) and their vectors must not only be known to a high degree of accuracy, but the data must also be updated more rapidly than has so far been the case. Current approaches include data collection through terrestrial capture on site and satellite-generated information. This article provides an update of currently available sources of remotely-sensed data, including specific information on satellite-borne sensors, and how such data can be handled by Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Computers, when equipped with GIS software based on common spatial denominators, can connect remotely-sensed environmental records with terrestrial-captured data and apply spatial statistics in ways uniquely suited to manage control activities in areas where vector-borne infections dominate.


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