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Online Visualization Tool for Tackling Vector-Borne Diseases

An online visualization tool is currently being developed to support decision makers in taking measures to mitigate the risk of outbreaks and transmission of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in eastern Africa.

The work is being carried out as part of the HEALTHY FUTURES, a European FP7-funded research project that aims to construct a disease risk-mapping system for three water-related, high-impact VBDs (malaria, Rift Valley fever and schistosomiasis) in eastern Africa. The organization calculates environmental and climatic trends and changes in socio-economic conditions to predict future risks.

As the project is now in its final year, significant progress is being made in an effort to integrate the scientific outputs of the project into an effective online visualization tool suitable for decision makers within eastern Africa.

The online atlas is being developed at the Centre for Geoinformatics, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS) in collaboration with other initiative partners. It will enable end-users to filter the available information by the target disease, time and associated climate change scenarios, and the risk framework components.

For each of the three diseases, different time components will be available including historical data, present-day results, future scenarios, and “change maps”. For most of the combinations, maps will be displayed and different information associated to the data will be visualized through graphs and/or tables. The atlas will be based on open source software products and will be accessible via the project website.

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