Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoIT) is in process of developing a reliable dengue surveillance and rapid-response system to mitigate human and financial loss particularly in large populous regions.
The existing infectious disease surveillance systems lacks capabilities to perform analyses for any epidemiological spread.
Therefore, to address challenges, the authorities are engaged in developing a Dengue-View, a distributed GIS-based real-time service-oriented architecture (SoA) that will allow collection, communication, analysis and visualization of DE related data.
The Dengue-View project is a collaborative effort of National ICT Research and Development Fund and Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science, UET Lahore. the cost of the project is Rs 23.99 million and expected to be completed in 2016.
Official sources on Sunday said a dengue related data from 57 remote district level hospitals of Punjab will be collected and make this data available for Dengue-View project.
Microsoft Research (MSR) USA is funding for supporting the development of smartphone based component of data collection (from remote locations of the province).
The sources said in the Dengue-View project a dengue modeling, analysis, exploration, visualization, surveillance, and response toolset would be developed for whole of Pakistan by employing robust and accurate (or as accurate as possible) dengue epidemiological models with real-time inference and preplanning capabilities.
Dengue-View is a suite of tools designed to facilitate exploration of streaming spatiotemporal datasets that will be collected in real time from the emergency departments (EDs) of the partnering hospitals through the toolset developed in this project. This data consists of ED chief complaints classified into nine syndromic categories.
The Dengue-View will allow for interlinked views and interactive filtering to provide users with contextual information about their data and enable them to develop and explore their hypotheses. They said statistical data models and alert detection algorithms will help draw user attention to DE hotspots across space and time. The proposed system and the capabilities developed therein are expected to play a vital role during future Dengue Epidemic (DE) outbreaks and help efficient use of scarce resources of the government and the hospitals.
The Dengue-View will also allow real-time monitoring of health care conditions related to dengue epidemic in collaboration with the partnering hospitals. It will also address cost vs. benefit assessment of preventive measures and help decision makers make right and judicious decisions regarding the counter-measure.
Such a system will strengthen Pakistan’s ability to surveil and counter the DE spread to other regions of the world by providing the officials with novel tools for space-time disease forecasting, surveillance, and response.
It is mentioned here that Pakistan is among the 110 countries in the world which are affected by mosquito-borne dengue virus. The 1st case of dengue virus was recorded in Pakistan in 2004. During the past several years, the situation was not as alarming as it has particularly become during last two years.
Since 2010, the incidence of Dengue Fever and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) have risen dramatically in Punjab, especially in city of Lahore where thousands of new cases surfaced on daily basis between months of July 2011 and December 2011.
Since July 2011, more than 21,000 people have been struck with dengue fever in Punjab alone. More than 400 succumbed to the disease in Punjab about 300 of them in Lahore.
The DF and DHF are caused by viruses transmitted through the bites of infective female Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.