WHO in Africa offers small research grants on the innovative use of GIS towards polio eradication

The Polio Eradication Programme in the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa is seeking applications for research grants ranging from US$8000 to US$12 000 to fund projects on the innovative use of geographic information systems (GIS) and other technologies for polio eradication and other public health uses.

With these small grants, we are looking for many big ideas that will help document, validate and promote GIS technology for public health uses in general across the region, said Pascal Mkanda, Coordinator of the Polio Eradication Programme at the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa.

Today’s announcement was made during the closing of a four-day GIS summit hosted by WHO in Brazzaville, Congo with more than 150 participants, many of them from health ministries in the 47 WHO Member States.

To promote GIS technology for public health decision-making across the region, the sessions looked at how health ministries are using the technology, innovative ideas, potential collaborations, challenges and available resources for polio eradication as well as application with other diseases.

Interested researchers and innovators are encouraged to submit a proposal related to the use of innovative technologies for acute flaccid paralysis surveillance, polio outbreak response, environmental surveillance, supplemental polio immunization activities, containment, monitoring, evaluation, accountability, resource mobilization, partners’ collaboration, communication, logistics, administration and/or polio-free certification of the African Region.

The technologies and innovations in the proposed research should include but are not limited to the following:

GIS, remote sensing, modelling, spatial and geostatistical analysis

use of mobile technology and field data collection

population estimation techniques and crowdsourcing for data collection and validation

artificial intelligence and machine learning

use of drones for vaccine delivery

business intelligence and information use

data management, integration and automation of data flow and big data.

Source: World Health Organization. Africa