Setting New Standards for Transparency & Accountability: Using Mobile Technology for Data Collection and Mapping of Malaria Net Distributions in DRC
Malaria kills an estimated 500 people per day in DRC. Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINS) can drastically reduce transmission. IMA’s DFID-funded Access to Primary Healthcare (ASSP) project decreases malaria-related morbidity and mortality by distributing LLINs. ASSP seeks to achieve 90% coverage within 9 health zones.
A network of 4,000 community volunteers (RECOs) surveyed every household in all 9 health zones using smartphones with Open Data Kit (ODK) Software. The goal is to increase transparency so that DFID was assured that the LLINs went to intended beneficiaries.
IMA developed the Hang Up and Track (HUT) strategy. ODK was used to capture key information including the number of LLINs needed, demographics and disease prevalence data, and to capture geographic coordinates and photos of every LLIN hung. RECOs hung LLINs in all sleeping spaces previously, then, took a picture of the recipient and the LLIN installed. IMA is currently developing an interactive map using Google’s Fusion Tables application for further LLIN coverage and mapping and analysis.
Initial findings demonstrate that IMA successfully hung over 620,000 LLINs in West Kasai Province, substantially increasing LLIN coverage from 2% at baseline to 98%.
IMA recommends implementers adapt HUT strategy for LLIN distribution to track whether nets reach beneficiaries and are hung properly in high prevalence malaria settings. Although a large upfront purchase of smartphones is required, ODK software significantly reduces time and money spent on outcome data analysis. Capturing GPS coordinates by phone is also very useful in countries with limited availability of accurate maps.
Learning Areas:Program planning
Define the methods used in the Hang Up and Track (HUT) strategy. Describe Open Data Kit (ODK) software and its usage in Public Health. Explain procedure for creating interactive maps in Google Fusion.
Keyword(s): International Health, Communication Technology
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a malaria specialist focusing on the use of technologies to improve the retention of use of LLINs (Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets) among vulnerable populations in DR Congo.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.