How Thailand is fighting poultry disease with technology
Community engagement and a clever phone app are helping to control poultry and other livestock diseases in Thailand.
A new initiative using community engagement and a clever phone app is helping to address a lack of official veterinary resources and a poor understanding of animal health among the general population in Thailand, and reverse a reluctance to report disease when identified.
Read the entire report about how Thailand is fighting poultry disease exclusively in the November issue of Poultry International.
In rural Thailand, more than 75 percent of people keep animals in their back gardens. This represents an extensive potential reservoir for disease, threatening animal and human populations. The situation is exacerbated by a sometimes poor disease reporting and response system.
However, a new disease reporting system rolled out in part of the country appears to be identifying more potential infections, and is resulting in more and quicker responses, stopping potential outbreaks in their tracks.
Created by Chiang Mai University, the surveillance system utilizes an army of volunteers and the Participatory One Health Disease Detection (PODD) app, a smartphone app that allows pinpointed disease reporting in real time.
PODD brings together modern technologies and local communities, with local volunteers acting as the eyes and ears for disease surveillance, and was made possible by a US$2 million grant from the Skoll Global Threats Fund, which supports initiatives to address pandemics and climate change, among other areas.
After the development of various prototypes and discussions with government officials, the system went live in 2015.