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    Information System on Wildlife Health: an enhanced Brazilian experience of One Health

    by Marcia Chame 11/27/2017 02:56 AM GMT

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          Environmental changes may cause serious impacts on biodiversity, with major repercussions on health. Due to the degradation of environments, vectors and hosts approach human populations in search of food and shelter or to escape from their predators, thus increasing the risk of transmission of zoonotic infections. Monitoring the circulating pathogens in nature or on the borders between rural and urban environments before they reach humans is a challenge, especially for countries with continental dimensions like Brazil.

          The Institutional Platform for Biodiversity and Wildlife Heath of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation – Fiocruz, from Brazil,  created the Information Center on Wildlife Health (CISS) a virtual place for continuous, dedicated development of the theme of wildlife and human health, aimed at consolidating knowledge, action, and policies that can jointly strengthen the conservation of Brazilian biodiversity and improve human health as well as all forms of good practices for sustainable development.

          SISS-Geo is a platform developed collaboratively by CISS and the Brazilian National Laboratory for Scientific Computing - LNCC for recording field observations of animals through mobile communication, which are then processed and analyzed.

          From common citizens to specialists, anyone can participate in this monitoring effort – tourists, farmers, ecotourism guides, birdwatchers, contractors, and technicians and specialists in health, environment, and livestock.

          Based on recorded observations of animals with their possible abnormalities (such as wounds or unusual behavior) and characteristics of the environment in which the observations were made, SISS-Geo generates alerts on incidents in the wild fauna. These alerts are investigated by the proper sectors, with the support of a laboratory network and specialists, to confirm or rule out the pathogens potentially associated with the alert. This information is made available to decision-makers and society, and provides the basis for developing prediction models. The ultimate goal is to allow for acting before the diseases affect humans and other animals.

          SISS-Geo was tested on the Project “Wildlife Health and Digital Inclusion Project in Amazonia and Atlantic Forest” in 11 Expeditions -   2015-2017, in Extractive Reserve Tapajós-Arapiuns, Pará state,  Municipalities of the South Bahia  state and the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, where we work with 56 communities, 860 families e 2560 inhabitants from traditional communities and indigenous people. From the workshops with traditional and indigenous communities 166 improvements were made in the app such, as improving the sensitivity of the screen that does not work with the thick skin of the people working in the field and the size of the buttons. The practical guide "Biodiversity is good for health" was prepared and returned to all families, health workers and teachers.

          The system provides automated alerts by modeling data that consider the territorial distances and intervals between records, the similarity of taxonomic groups, the physical conditions of the animals found in the field and are correlated with landscape elements and environmental changes, whose databases are those from Brazil's National Space Data Platform and other sources such as MAPBiomas, Wordclim, and CHIRP. Alerts are sent by e-mail in real time to decision makers. The records can also be viewed online at as well all the educations materiais, videos, notices, and bolletins.

          The forecast models from data use the machine learning methods that identification of the relationships between the characteristics of the records and their severities. Exploratory studies to identify areas and risk factors for yellow fever, with databases of epidemics in Brazil, are under development with the partnership of the Ministry of Health. As human records of yellow fever and epizootics are not geo-referenced in the field, the  Yaku computer package was developed. The Yaku made up of modules for generating statistics, joining layers, predicting vulnerable areas and spatial visualization of results. It allows the integration of any classification technique, new layers and accuracy of occurrence and generates polygons and absences based on the models themselves.

          Over the last few years many lessons have been learned in the field, in workshops with specialties and from the demands of health surveillance managers, conservation unit leaders, environmental police, traditional communities and indigenous peoples. This experience allows us to propose the following notes for the various technologies that bring people, health and biodiversity closer together:

          Innovative computational technologies must be developed by  multiprofessional teams

          It should be managed with the freedom of experimentation of research projects

          It needs to be tested in the field with the presence and accompaniment of the whole team.

          Must to listen and exchange knowledge with all people

          Must be under the care of stable institutions and partners

          Need to aggregate young researchers

          Need to develop your own solutions

          Must seek bold solutions

          Must join other initiatives

          Keep an open communication channel with the collaborators

          SISS-Geo Features 

          • Free
          • 3,15MB
          • Easy language
          • GPS satellite
          • Photographs of various qualities
          • Information on the animal and place of observation
          • Real-time map view
          • Automated alerts to managers in real time
          • Network of specialists for species validation
          • Organized database
          • Automated and customized data reporting

          The Wildlife Health and Digital Inclusion Project won the National Biodiversity Award in 2017 - government sector and was one of the 173 initiatives certified as social technology by the Brasil Bank Foundation in 2017, among 735 enrolled.

          SISS-Geo was developed in free software and will be open after registration in creative commons

          Co-authors to your solution

          Eduardo Krempser; Douglas Augusto; Felipe Chateaubriand; Livia Abdalla; Talita Santos; Cristhian Dutra; Thais Muniz; Luiz Gadelha; Helio Barbosa

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          biodiversity; citizen science; wildlife health; zoonotic infections; prediction models

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