Technology will make vector control more efficient in the BVI island of Tortola

The Ministry of Health and Social Development of British Virgin Islands (BVI) will test the effectiveness of a data-based, community-driven vector control program on Tortola. The idea is to deploy technology solutions to better gather, track, and analyze critical health data. Similar technology has already been implemented on other islands within the BVI, some through the nonprofit BugOut program on Virgin Gorda, where the projects have been successful in unlocking greater efficiencies.

Photo of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoThe Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

The core premise of this approach is to utilize data to guide vector control interventions, to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiencies than before.

The pilot program will test the underlying model used by such programs with government staff, and utilizing community-based vector control officers, as well as a mixture of technology, public education, and community activation on the BVI island of Tortola. This approach will allow communities and staff to benefit from a new approach to vector control which has already shown promising results in dramatically reducing the presence of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes—the mosquito that transmits dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and other vector-borne diseases.

The core premise of this approach is that by utilizing data to guide vector control interventions, government can achieve greater effectiveness and efficiencies than before, while also engaging the community in their own health outcomes and reporting key public health data to regional authorities.

This is achieved through a synthesis of weather, historic, locational, and community-provided data to create a predictive and reactive model. This data is converted into interactive tools that are used to help educate, inform, and protect communities where the data was collected.

This vector control project was one of the winners of the call for proposals for the implementation of IS4H projects promoted by the Pan American Health Organization.