A Semantic Framework to Improve Interoperability of Malaria Surveillance Systems

In 2015, there were 212 million new cases of malaria, and about 429,000 malaria death, worldwide. African countries accounted for almost 90% of global cases of malaria and 92% of malaria deaths. Currently, malaria data are scattered across different countries, laboratories, and organizations in different heterogeneous data formats and repositories. The diversity of access methodologies makes it difficult to retrieve relevant data in a timely manner. Moreover, lack of rich metadata limits the reusability of data and its integration.

January 25, 2018

Zika Virus Speed and Direction: Reconstructing Zika Introduction in Brazil

Local transmission of Zika virus has been confirmed in 67 countries worldwide and in 46 countries or territories in the Americas. On February 1, 2016 the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern due to the increase in microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil. Several countries issued travel warnings for pregnant women travelling to Zika-affected countries with Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and El Salvador advising against pregnancy.

August 07, 2017

Developing the Scalable Data Integration for Disease Surveillance (SDIDS) Platform

Electronic data that could be used for global health surveillance are fragmented across diseases, organizations, and countries. This fragmentation frustrates efforts to analyze data and limits the amount of information available to guide disease control actions. In fields such as biology, semantic or knowledge-based methods are used extensively to integrate a wide range of electronically available data sources, thereby rapidly accelerating the pace of data analysis.

August 28, 2017

Monitoring Media Content About Vaccines in the United States: Data from the Vaccine Sentimeter

The success of public health campaigns in decreasing or eliminating the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases can be undermined by media content influencing vaccine hesitancy in the population. A tool for tracking and describing the ever-growing platforms for such media content can help decide how and where to invest in campaigns to increase public confidence in vaccines.

September 01, 2017

A Novel Method for Defining Health Facility Catchment Areas in a Low Income Country

The catchment area of a health-care facility is used to assess health service utilization and calculate population-based rates of disease. Current approaches for catchment definition have significant limitations such as being based solely on distance from the facility or using an arbitrary threshold for inclusion.


We propose a simple statistical method, the cumulative case ratio, for defining a catchment area using surveillance data.

October 18, 2017

Integrated Disease Surveillance to Reduce Data Fragmentation - An Application to Malaria Control

There is growing recognition that an inability to access timely health indicators can hamper both the design and the effective implementation of infectious diseases control interventions. In malaria control, the global use of standard interventions has driven down the burden of disease in many regions. Further gains in high transmission areas and elimination in lower transmission settings, however, will require an enhanced understanding of malaria epidemiology, population characteristics, and efficacy of clinical and public health programs at the local level.

October 27, 2017

Predicting Malaria in a Highly Endemic Country using Environmental and Clinical Data Sources

In 1911, Christophers developed an early-warning system for malaria epidemics in Punjab based on rainfall, fever-related deaths and wheat prices. Since that initial system, researchers and practitioners have continued to search for determinants of spatial and temporal variability of malaria to improve systems for forecasting disease burden. Malaria thrives in poor tropical and subtropical countries where resources are limited.

May 02, 2019

The influence of address errors on detecting outbreaks of campylobacteriosis

Mandatory notification to public health of priority communicable diseases (CDs) is a cornerstone of disease prevention and control programs. Increasingly, the addresses of CD cases are used for spatial monitoring and cluster detection and public health may direct interventions based on the results of routine spatial surveillance. There has been little assessment of the quality of addresses in surveillance data and the impact of address errors on public health practice.

June 20, 2019

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