Use of open mobile mapping tool to assess human mobility traceability in rural offline populations with contrasting malaria dynamics


Infectious disease dynamics are affected by human mobility more powerfully than previously thought, and thus reliable traceability data are essential. In rural riverine settings, lack of infrastructure and dense tree coverage deter the implementation of cutting-edge technology to collect human mobility data. To overcome this challenge, this study proposed the use of a novel open mobile mapping tool, GeoODK. This study consists of a purposive sampling of 33 participants in six villages with contrasting patterns of malaria transmission that demonstrates a feasible approach to map human mobility. The self-reported traceability data allowed the construction of the first human mobility framework in rural riverine villages in the Peruvian Amazon. The mobility spectrum in these areas resulted in travel profiles ranging from 2 hours to 19 days; and distances between 10 to 167 km. Most Importantly, occupational-related mobility profiles with the highest displacements (in terms of time and distance) were observed in commercial, logging, and hunting activities. These data are consistent with malaria transmission studies in the area that show villages in watersheds with higher human movement are concurrently those with greater malaria risk. The approach we describe represents a potential tool to gather critical information that can facilitate malaria control activities.

Gabriel Carrasco-Escobar
Gabriel Carrasco-Escobar
Assistant Professor

My research interests include infectious diseases epidemiology, causal inference, global health, Climate Change, Data Science, Urban Health, and Geospatial modeling & viz.