Using mobile phones for rapid reporting of zoonotic diseases in rural South Africa

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 2010, 161 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. © 2010 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.
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