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Saturday, 08 September 2018 08:43

Citra partners DMMC to support Dengue prevention and control

Citra, Sri Lanka’s first Social Innovation Lab, has partnered with the Mount Lavinia Municipal Council to develop a citizen-centered open source platform for dengue prevention and control.Citra, a joint initiative between the Ministry of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development, Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) uses foresight and innovation tools to prototype and test development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic.

Its work is aligned to the national development priorities and works towards bringing in greater citizen engagement to the formulation of development solutions.One such initiative is developing an open source platform aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of dengue, with technical expertise from the Department of Town and Country Planning, University of Moratuwa.

The platform, once developed, will improve local government’s efficiency in identifying, managing and monitoring dengue. It will also have a citizen engagement feature and will allow communities to identify and notify relevant local government authorities of the prevalence and locations of potential mosquito breeding grounds for necessary action. The users can send the exact location along with a picture of the potential breeding ground, following which the application will automatically add the location to a website for local health officials to review.

The system provides a user-friendly, interactive web interface to process and analyses the data near real-time. This will help decision makers to predict and or visualize potential risk-prone areas. Dehiwala - Mount Lavinia Municipal Commissioner Dhammika Muthugala said with the high prevalence of dengue in communities and especially with over 40% of the cases being reported from the Western Province, we need to find innovative initiatives if we are to effectively control and prevent dengue in the future. We believe engaging citizens to assist us in this regard is the most efficient way to curb the spread of dengue.”

A pilot of this application will be tested initially within the Ratmalana division under Dr. Indika Ellawala, the area Chief Medical Officer.This project is part of City-i-LEAPS, an initiative implemented in partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and UNDP’s Bangkok Regional Hub, which aims at collaborating with municipalities in countries around the region to develop and assist the implementation of innovative development solutions.