The Times of India reports that Pune’s Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has developed a new app, called the Mobile-based Surveillance Quest using IT (Mosquit), which can be used by accredited social health activists (ASHAs) in villages to survey the prevalence of malaria in their areas.
KDAG associate director Medha Dhurandhar said, “Malaria is a public health problem in India, with 95% of the population residing in malaria-endemic areas. When we started doing research in this field, we realised that almost 80% of malaria cases reported are confined to areas where tribals reside and to hilly, difficult and inaccessible regions of the country.”
Dhurandhar said the application effectively reduces the time taken to provide treatment as the data reporting is carried out in real time by the local field worker without having to physically travel to the nearest health centre.
During their study, Dhurandhar and her team realised malaria also accounted for about 40% of public health expenditure and 30-50% of in-patient hospital admissions in the northeast. In normal circumstances, the process of identifying a positive case and starting treatment takes three to four weeks.
Dhurandhar added, “The application has been successfully deployed in Assam. The tool has proven to be effective in the malaria-prevalent areas of Assam and has been widely accepted by field workers for its versatility and ease of use.”