Climate change has significant effect on mosquito disease outbreaks by altering factors such as mosquito population size and survival rates. MosquiTool leverages predictive climate data to empower and mobilize households in developing countries to anticipate, prepare for, and protect themselves against future outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases. This platform will help mitigate the burden of these diseases on households and communities.
Tremendous scientific effort is taking place in the field of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks predictions. Scientific publications have shown that by relying on various environmental and socio-economic data, disease outbreaks can be predicted from as short as 2 weeks to as long as 4 months in advance.
However, this enormous amount of evidence is yet to be translated into practice, more so transmitted in a timely manner to the end user – households who are the main players of disease prevention campaigns.
Messages must be very well localized to be understandable, actionable and aspirational for people living in depressed neighborhoods.
Lack of such infrastructure for data conversion and delivery results in a numerous outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases that are highly preventable yet hugely devastating to developing countries.
For instance, Dengue is endemic to the Philippines. Between 2008-2012, an estimated 117,000 cases were reported in the country resulting in an estimated loss of $345 million.
MosquiTool is a platform that utilizes predictive climate data to provide simple and actionable information to Filipino households and empowers them to protect themselves from future mosquito outbreaks.
Available data on climate projections, mosquito behavior, GPS, socioeconomic indicators, and other variables are gathered from different sources. Such data are processed using verified predictive models that then are used to generate simple messaging that alerts people of future outbreaks and supply all information required to mitigate negative effects.
Mobile phone penetration rate in the Philippines is one of the highest and fast growing in the southern Asia (~70% by 2018), hence providing a potent channel for transmitting such life-saving information to ordinary households.
These messages are readable in feature phones, smart phones, and websites in order to cover different customer segments in the Philippines.
A unique feature of this solution is not the use of mobile phones per se, but the management of available yet underutilized climate and other data as well as existing predictive models for forecasting disease outbreaks and providing alerts and information to households.
The platform API will also provide fast and efficient way of creating new channels to various communities all around the world. Another innovation is the flexibility of this platform to use the local language of each project site and incorporate unique cultural elements that can cater to specific populations.
A one-size-fits-all app in English will not be effective in engaging communities and generating behavior change in diverse settings. While many academic institutions have performed studies to assess the predictive potential for disease outbreaks of using climate data, none of these was adopted by national health systems especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Moreover, few private companies have attempted to introduce technology-based solutions to either disease outbreak forecasting or public awareness raising, either because these platforms have focused on narrow data (ex. Google Flu Trends which relied on Google searches) or ignored public advocacy and community mobilization, which are essential for the success of preventive measures such as MosquiTool.
An increase in public awareness and preventive action will mitigate mosquito-borne diseases outbreaks consequences or even prevent them completely.
Dcreased healthcare costs, increased worker productivity, improved national economy, increased livability in cities, increased global health security
NGOs (both local and global): Another tool for them to complement alreadydeveloped educational campaigns.
Money saved from avoiding hospitalization and treatment
This solution primarily addresses SDG 3, the health and well-being of all people. In particular, it directly addresses 3.3, a commitment to ending malaria and neglected tropical diseases and 3.D, the strengthened capacity of developing countries for early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and global health risks.
MosquiTool addresses SDGs 8 and 13, pertaining to climate change and urbanization, particularly in terms of strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
Improved health of a population also has positive impact on SDG 1 and 4, ending poverty and improved education for all.