‘Tech­nol­ogy crit­i­cal to disease fight’

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

PER­MA­NENT SEC­RE­TARY in the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment and Job Cre­ation Au­drey Sewell has said that the use of geo­graphic in­for­ma­tion sys­tem (GIS) tech­nol­ogy could be piv­otal in the coun­try’s fight against the spread of dis­eases and in the quest to im­prove gen­eral pub­lic health.

She noted that GIS maps can as­sist in iden­ti­fy­ing disease pat­terns, risk fac­tors, and sources of pol­lu­tion, as well as fa­cil­i­tate data anal­y­sis.

“There is no doubt that GIS will en­able us to get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of pat­terns, link­ages, and trends across our na­tion, re­gion, and planet that will en­able us to more ef­fec­tively man­age our lim­ited re­sources and plan for the fu­ture,” she said.

Sewell’s re­marks are con­tained in a speech de­liv­ered by chief tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor in the min­istry Oral Khan dur­ing the Na­tional Spa­tial Data Management Divi­sion’s ninth an­nual GIS Busi­ness Ex­ec­u­tive Forum, held at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel in New Kingston on Wed­nes­day.

Sewell noted that the use of GIS ap­pli­ca­tions in health map­ping has “cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion” of sec­tor stake­hold­ers, who are utilising it for re­search, plan­ning, and disease management.

She pointed out that “rapidly dwin­dling bor­ders” glob­ally, giv­ing rise to con­tin­u­ous move­ment be­tween coun­tries, makes it easy for the spread of in­fec­tious dis­eases by vec­tors and other means.

This, the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary noted, was ev­i­dent in Ja­maica by the on­set, over the past seven years, of dis­eases such as chikun­gunya; Zika; H1N1; dengue fever; and hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.