Prior to the commencement of this MOOC Programme, i have always believed in and advocated for the integration of Geoinformatics in public health research, especially in the context of epidemiology / disease profiling. One of such moments was the pandemic caused by the scourge of ebola virus disease in Africa with emphasis to the index case recorded in Lagos State, Nigeria. At that time, the major challenge was contact tracing of suspected cases/ individuals that could be source of spread of the disease.
This initiated a brainstorming session on how to mitigate the challenge of contact tracing in the context of the ebola virus disease. A scientific presentation on "Integrating GIS and Remote Sensing Technology in Contact Tracing of Ebola Virus Disease Cases in Nigeria" was made in this regard under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Health; National Arbovirus and Vectors Research Centre, Enugu- Nigeria.
According to the author, developing a Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing platform in the context of ebola virus disease (EVD) for contacting tracing and monitoring of cases will aid field workers visualize outbreak spread between people as well as provide automated tools that speed up contact tracing and spatial data analysis. With a disease as often fatal as Ebola, quickly identifying and following up with those who may have been exposed is key to saving lives and containing the outbreak. The paper gave a preliminary non-technical insight on how GIS and remote sensing can be integrated into existing methodologies to mitigate the challenges in contact tracing and monitoring of Ebola virus diseases cases in any given geographical location.
Subsequent upon commencing the MOOC Programme (Going places with spatial analysis), i find the GeoNet community a potential platform to share innovative ideas with more insightful persons and professionals in GIS and spatial analysis. Although, the pressure of ebola virus disease (EVD) is no more in Nigeria, some other countries may still need help on how to integrate GIS and Remote Sensing Technology in mitigating the spread of the disease. Thus, i'm sharing this link to the paper presentation on Integrating GIS and Remote Sensing in Contact Tracing of Ebola Virus Disease Cases in Nigeria.https://www.academia.edu/8151525/Integrating_GIS_and_Remote_Sensing_Technology_In_Contact_Tracing_Of_Ebola_Virus_Disease_Cases_In_NigeriaThe essence of joining the GeoNet community is to share ideas and help others maximize the potentials of spatial analysis in any field of study. Indeed GIS is a viable tool in decision making process, especially in research.
Thus, i am optimistic that this platform with enhance knowledge base in GIS/spatial analysis as well aid collaboration in interdisciplinary research.