Cambodia uses SMS to record malaria outbreaks - Mobile World Live

Cambodia uses SMS to record malaria outbreaks

17 SEP 2012

A report from AFP describes how a pilot project in Cambodia enables health workers to report new cases of malaria via SMS, so enabling the health authorities to gain a picture of the scale of the outbreak.

The workers are taught how to use the service by the Malaria Consortium, a non-profit working with the country’s government and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The consortium has the aim of eliminating malaria from the country by 2025.

The service, which uses SIMs provided for free by Mobitel, the local mobile operator, was launched in 2011 before coming to Pailin province in July this year. Pailin is the centre of drug-resistant malaria in Cambodia. About 230 health workers have used the service to date with more to come.

Year-on-year malaria cases and deaths are in decline in Cambodia but there is concern about a drug-resistant strain of the disease. Catching the strain early can help to control its spread.  Following diagnosis, a health worker sends an SMS with the patient’s age, sex, location and the type of malaria via a free shortcode to district and provincial health authorities as well as the national malaria database. This process reduces the reporting time considerably.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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