Current Tools to Combat Malaria-with Special Focus on Plasmodium knowlesi: Day 4
MESA Correspondents bring you cutting-edge coverage from the Current Tools to Combat Malaria-with Special Focus on Plasmodium knowlesi workshop.
Day 4: 7th March 2019
Session 1. Introduction to geographic information system (GIS)
The geographic information system (GIS) was introduced by Dr Romano Ngui in this session. GIS is a powerful set of tools for collecting, storing, retrieving, transforming, and displaying spatial data from the real world. The system can be applied in many fields, including disease epidemiology — one of the objectives of this workshop.
Health professionals can take advantage of all its different utilities, for example, maps can be produced for annual reports or to map outbreaks. Health events can also be linked to socio-economic information. Spatial and temporal analyses can be carried out to examine clustering of cases over time. Importantly, the data can be mapped to aid the cleaning, checking and generation of hypothesis.
Session 2. Spatial and temporal analyses for epidemiology in tropical diseases
This second session was also led by Dr Romano Ngui with the aim to provide an overview of spatial-temporal analysis in the context of epidemiological investigations in public health such as infectious diseases and parasitic infections. Transmission of infectious diseases is closely linked to the concept of spatial and temporal proximity. The licenced software ArcGIS, and several public domain software such as GRASS, Autodesk Map2000, Intergraph GeoMedia, Quantum GIS, or DIVA GIS, are some of the available platforms for this spatial-temporal analysis. Furthermore, GIS can provide spatial dimension analysis to epidemiological research, including visualization, exploration, and modelling. Dr Romano Ngui also shared some GIS data on infectious diseases such as chikungunya and soil-transmitted helminthiasis during this session.
Dr Romano Ngui interpreting GIS data
Session 3. Practical: Introduction to GIS, creating a database and spatial visualization
This practical session was conducted at the Department of Geography of the University of Malaya and was led by Dr Romano Ngui and Assoc Prof Dr Aziz Shafie. A practical introduction to GIS ArcGIS, including the desktop mapping software and the data management software ArcCatalog, was conducted. The real dataset used in this practical class originated from a real study conducted after an outbreak of malaria in Zaire, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Data were collected on cases of malaria in villages in the study area, along with population information. With this session, participants covered most of the fundamentals of both GIS and ArcGIS, and were exposed to some of the most relevant information and techniques when producing a GIS map.
This blog was written by Dr Lucas Low Van Lun (Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya) as part of the MESA Correspondents program. Editorial support has been provided by Dr Indra Vythilingam.