[DAR-ES-SALAAM] Researchers in Tanzania have developed a digital application that empowers communities to use smartphones to detect and report the outbreak of diseases including Ebola and cholera.
The digital app, dubbed AfyaData, which is available for download on Google Play store, was developed by researchers at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in collaboration with information and communication technology (ICT) experts from the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS).
Tanzania is at high risk of major infectious diseases such as Rift Valley fever and Marburg virus disease, experts say, citing reasons including many Tanzanians being farmers who frequently come into contact with cattle and poultry.
“The app makes it possible to map out all reported health threats on location and can establish the burden of the problem.”
Eric Beda, SACIDS
AfyaData, which was launched last month (24 May) in the country’s Morogoro region and means health data in Swahili, is expected to improve the way epidemics are reported in Tanzania and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Eric Beda, regional ICT specialist at the SACIDS, 470 community reporters and surveillance authorities are using the app in five districts of the country.
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