Using Mobile Phones for Rapid Reporting of Zoonotic Diseases in Rural South Africa

IOS Press BV
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Global Telehealth - Selected Papers from Global Telehealth 2010 (GT2010): 15th International Conference of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth and 1st National Conference of the Australasian Telehealth Society, 2010, pp. 179 - 189
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Human health is inextricably linked to animal health and production, particularly in developing regions of the world where animals play an important role in communities by providing transportation and food. Many deaths occur each year from a number of well-known and preventable animal diseases that are transmitted to humans, especially in developing countries, due to a lack of early detection and preventative measures. Despite the link between human health and animal health, veterinary telehealth has not attracted much attention from researchers in the medical health community. This paper describes a case study exploring the use of mobile phones for rapid reporting of zoonotic diseases in South Africa. It outlines an SMS-based mobile service to enable community members to report suspected cases of diseases. This service aims to increase the number and density of traditional reporting sources to facilitate near real-time reporting and consequently more rapid response to zoonoses outbreaks. The initial phases of this system design are described in addition to future directions.
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