With infectious zoonotic diseases emerging in animals in low- and middle-income countries, surveillance of animal health in these nations is becoming increasingly important for forecasting disease risks to people. A new paper describes a mobile-phone-based surveillance system for animal populations that has been developed and implemented in Sri Lanka.
Using this system, field veterinarians reported animal health information via mobile phones. Submissions increased steadily over 9 months, with the system receiving more than 4,000 interactions between field veterinarians and reports on the animal populations.
Key to the successful implementation of this system were activities to develop human resources and increased communications among local stakeholders–groups and individuals affected by emerging infectious diseases.
This project demonstrates that mobile-phone–based surveillance of animal populations is both acceptable and feasible in relatively poor communities if time is spent garnering support for novel surveillance methods among their users and other stakeholders.
Read more … (Emerging Infectious Diseases)