London: Data from mobile phones that provide crucial information about movements of people within a country could be key to designing an effective malaria elimination programme, a promising study showed.
An estimated 627,00 people died of malaria in 2012 as per the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Understanding the movement of people is crucial in eliminating malaria,” said Andy Tatem, a geographer at University of Southampton in Britain.
“The study demonstrates that the rapid global proliferation of mobile phones now provides us with an opportunity to study the movement of people, using sample sizes running into millions,” Tatem added.
By combining this data with information about diagnosed cases of malaria, topography and climate, the researchers were able to identify geographical ‘hotspots’ of the disease and design targeted plans for its elimination.