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Program Uses Smartphones and Drones to Fight Malaria in Tanzania

Although different programs across the world have come a long way to fight malaria, countries have a long way to go to completely eradicate the problem. For instance, at the moment, anti-larval sprays are expensive and time consuming to implement and it’s not possible to spray an entire area. Recently, a program in Tanzania has introduced a new way to fight malaria by using drones and smartphones.

The initiative carried out by Aberystwyth University and Tanzania’s Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Programme, uses drones to survey malaria hot zones and identify areas where mosquitoes are likely to breed. Opposed to the traditional method, this approach can save a large amount of time. For instance, by using this method, you can discover and spray a trouble zone within hours opposed to days.

In case you are wondering, you can bring the drone imagery to smartphones to guide the spraying teams and track their progress. Thanks to retrieved data, sprayers can make a map of affected area more efficiently and report back when they are done.

While this method is certainly worthwhile, it might be a while before it is implemented at a larger scale. For instance, researchers have raised concerns that the drones might interfere with local wildlife. However, researchers are expecting that informing local citizens about the technology can help to minimize the possible damage that can be occurred due to this method.

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