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D-MOSS: Using space technology to prevent dengue fever outbreaks

24th May 2024, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Join this UK HSA lecture to hear from Dr Gina Tsarouchi who will present on the topic of D-MOSS: Using space technology to prevent dengue fever outbreaks.

Outline:

Dengue is the fastest-growing mosquito-borne viral infection in the world today. It is present in over 150 countries; it affects 390 million people annually and has a global cost of almost US$9billion per year.

D-MOSS is the first fully integrated dengue fever forecasting system incorporating Earth Observation data and seasonal climate forecasts to issue warning on a routine basis. The system has been operational in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka since June 2019. All three countries had suffered major dengue outbreaks in preceding years.

As in many countries, the existing hydro-meteorological and environmental ground-based monitoring networks were sparse, and unable to provide enough data to be useful in forecasting dengue outbreaks. This is where satellite data is so valuable; it can provide an accurate and consistent representation of the spatial variation of key environmental and socio-economic parameters.

The principle is a simple one: predict when and where dengue outbreaks will occur, well before mosquitoes start to breed and people start to get sick. This allows preventative measures to be taken. Authorities on the ground can strategically plan intervention in plenty of time, moving precious resources to where they are most effective.

Early results indicate that D-MOSS is able to change a reactive approach to dengue prevention to a more proactive one. The system is shown to be reliable, cost-effective, and can be easily replicated elsewhere at a range of different scales. Our vision is to see D-MOSS mainstreamed as the key early warning system for reducing dengue fever worldwide. The D-MOSS project was funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme and the team is now further developing under Horizon Europe and Medical Research Council grants.

Come along to this lecture to find out more.

Biography:

Dr Gina Tsarouchi is a Principle Engineer in HR Wallingford’s Flood and Water Management Group, with main areas of expertise in early warning systems, climate change, and catchment hydrology. Since 2011, she has been working internationally in projects in Africa, South-East Asia, the Caribbean, Central Asia, and Europe.

Some of her recent work includes the development of disease outbreak early warning systems, drought forecasting systems, prioritising resilient investments for water security, developing a strategy for climate services, and investigating the resilience of port infrastructure to climate change.