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Interactive health information system to detect Japanese encephalitis in Asia

By pressing a few numbers on a phone keypad, health workers in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in India will be able to report timely information in order to better respond to disease outbreak.

Health workers are participating in a pilot project that aims to demonstrate that effective use of information technology can support health systems to control Japanese encephalitis. In partnership with the government of Andhra Pradesh, Voxiva Inc., a global provider of health information solutions, is leading this pilot for PATH's Japanese Encephalitis Project. PATH is an international nonprofit organization that works to create sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. The goal of the project is to trackand ultimately reducethe incidence of Japanese encephalitis through improved surveillance and response. Japanese encephalitis is a disabling and often fatal mosquito-spread disease that mostly strikes children under age 15 in Asian countries. The disease is related to West Nile virus, which now regularly appears in North America each summer, and infected over 1600 in the United States so far this year. Japanese encephalitis kills one-third of those infected, and causes severe disabilities in half of those who survive.

To successfully combat Japanese encephalitis, health officials need surveillance networks that allow them to respond quickly to reported cases and readily identify outbreaks. Voxiva has developed a phone- and web-based information system that uses existing communications infrastructure (e.g. mobile, pay and land-based phones). Health workers can use any phone to report confirmed and suspected cases of Japanese encephalitis.

All reported information will enter a single database. Health officials will log into the system via the web and can use the system's analytic tools to evaluate trends, identify outbreaks, and immediately d
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Contact: Laura Cooley
LCooley@path.org
206-788-2459
PATH
6-Oct-2004


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