GIS-based analysis of dengue cases in Baguio City launched

BAGUIO CITY  – Engineer Nathaniel Vincent Lubrica on Friday said a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based analysis of dengue cases in Baguio City will be utilized from October 2016 to October 2017 to identify areas of infectious and potential risk of new diseases.

The analysis will also find out the geographic, environmental, and human causes for such impact and to be able to forecast new, emerging diseases and establish special treatment centers.

Lubrica, the project leader of the University of the Cordilleras – Geographic Information System (UC-GIS), said South-East Asia, Central and South America and other several regions emerged a serious health problem, causing severe flu-like illness and cause a potential and lethal complication transmitted by bites and for over 200 years, America recognized dengue fever as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease globally.

Maps on disease spread and risk maps are good basis of policies and are highly suitable for analyzing epidemiological data, revealing trends, and interrelationships that will be difficult to discover in tabular format.

The GIS allows policy makers to visualize problems existing in health and social service, and the natural environment.

The significance of the study is one of the best applications of GIS in disease surveillance and epidemiology and can be seen in the Public Health Agency (PHA) in Canada.

The PHA had a real time surveillance system using mobile and web technology, thus, making response more efficient.The systems started with a strong background in GIS, Lubrica said.

Baguio City can be the first to adopt a GIS-based dengue surveillance and epidemiology in the Philippines.

This proposed research project crucially laid the foundation of a real time surveillance system of dengue, Lubrica added.

The main objective of the study was to establish the utilization of GIS to facilitate data management, mapping, surveillance, and epidemiology Lubrica said.

The scope of the study will cover Baguio City residents who were tested positive with dengue for the last five years.

The study is cross sectional because the analysis of trend or pattern requires a historical set of data.

The patients will be mapped by matching their addresses vis-a-vis Department of Health – Cordillera Regional Office (DOH-CAR) records.

Those who have incomplete addresses will not be included in the study.

The study will use GIS functions for spatial analysis, statistics, and correlation.

Spatial correlation vis-a-vis environmental correlates will be performed using the overall dengue cases in Baguio City.

Maps of water bodies, land use or vegetation, slope, and rainfall are identified environmental correlates for dengue as derived from literatures.

A more profound analysis will be performed through time series analysis using GIS.

Lubrica said, the GIS would soon be turned over to the government for the use of the DOH.

Cordillera Regional Health Research and Development Consortium (CRHRDC) chairman, Dr Raymundo Rovillos said, GIS was one of the two projects of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) in the Cordillera Region.

This GIS-based Analysis of Dengue Cases project in Baguio City is in partnership with the DOH-CAR, the Baguio Health Department (BHD), Baguio General Hospital Medical Center (BGHMC), PCHRD-DOST (the funding source) and the CRHRDC. PNA – northboundasia.com