The outbreak, control, and elimination of diseases such as malaria, dengue and Zika highlight challenges in the surveillance of their vectors. The capacity to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for vector surveillance data increases vector control programme efficiency and the ability to make informed decisions on targeting interventions and inform insecticide resistance management plans and policies.
To improve GIS capacity, we developed and implemented the Geographic Information for Vector Surveillance (GIVeS) programme.
GIVeS undertook a needs assessment of 37 countries in the Americas, determining country level learning needs and system capacity. Most had partially or fully functioning vector control systems; however, map making skills were not present in the programmes.
The GIVeS curriculum in English, French & Spanish was designed utilizing free QGIS mapping software. It, guides participants on mapping basics through the creation of maps using their own data. Over one hundred national/regional-level entomologists and key decision makers from 30 countries participated in GIVeS workshops in 2017.
Evaluation consisted of pre/post-tests and daily skills assessments, a quantitative course evaluation and focus group discussions.
Participants produced quality maps from their own data. The course evaluation data identified further learning needs and systemic challenges for incorporating GIS in routine vector surveillance.
Quantitative results demonstrated that the course met its learning objectives and that the learning materials were targeted and delivered at the right level.
The strength of mapping tools in public health is clearly understood. The GIVeS course was well received by the community and addressed key gaps related to data management and visualization. Participants are already sharing maps that they have created as part of their programmatic duties. The GIVeS programme has filled a critical gap in vector surveillance and control programmes, and plans are underway to expand the use of the curriculum further.