CSSL Facilitates international Epihack project to fight Dengue
Posted on October 18th, 2017

Computer Society of Sri Lanka

According to the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, there were 80,732 cases of dengue fever reported between January 1st and July 7th 2017. This number includes 215 deaths as a result of the disease. And the worst hit was the Colombo District with 18,186 cases. Dengue has always been amongst the deadliest diseases we face in Sri Lanka. And epihack Sri Lanka aims to stop it.

epihack is described as, a 5-day hackathon bringing together public health professionals, IT developers, IT designers and government officials to create an open source digital solution to health communication and surveillance of dengue fever with the hope of reducing the disease.”

However, this is different from the typical hackathons we see. This is a hackathon that encourages collaboration rather than competition. Thus, all the teams work together to build a sustainable solution. And it’s not just IT developers that collaborate together. Epihack also invites health professionals to participate in the process.

It’s also a global event that’s been held in various countries. Some examples are Tanzania, Myanmar, Albania, Brazil, Thailand, Laos and more. And now, it’s coming to Sri Lanka on the 6thof November 2017. epihack Sri Lanka is set to be a five-day event organized by Nanyang Technological University alongside University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) and Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL).

The goal of epihack is to not only develop prototypes but also ensure they bring about sustainable outcomes. This is why they invite both technology and health professionals along with other stakeholders. One project is Guardians of Health by Epitrack, which came about after epihack Rio 2015. This was an app used to detect public health emergencies and outbreaks. It utilized crowd-sourced reports to monitor symptoms and health conditions in different areas. Three years later, epitrack has expanded into a young startup and launched a new app called Flu Near You! to track and fight the flu.

Another project is Afyadata from epihack Tanzania in 2014. This was built by the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS). It’s used to collect, submit, receive and/or track feedback of health data. A completely open source tool, once it has this health data is stored and analyzes it to help health professionals make decisions.

The epihack Sri Lanka will be held from the 6th – 10th of November 2017 at Cinnamon Lakeside. To be a part of this global hackathon and take the fight to dengue, please fill out this form here – https://goo.gl/2D8y8E.

For information about epihack , please visit epihack.org .

2 Responses to “CSSL Facilitates international Epihack project to fight Dengue”

  1. dingiri bandara Says:

    I have written about this before.There are so many stories of Papaya juice helping Dengue patients. I think it helped me too. When I was lying in hospital with Dengue with no medications other than saline, at the suggestion of my brother, I tried the Papaya juice and I quickly recovered.
    Why is it not any research conducted on the effect of this treatment as there is as far as I know there is no other treatment.
    Like in every thing else is vested interests preventing this?

  2. Asanga Says:

    Dingiri Banda,
    Sadly, there is even a research paper available by a Sri Lankan Doctor, that outlines the effectiveness of Papaya Leaves in combating dengue. If I am not mistaken, he was also felicitated by MY3 at a convention for his research. But unfortunately, the medical community of Sri Lanka has either ignored or is ignorant of this research. Right now the only way of spreading the news about this is through word of mouth.

    Interestingly enough, there was an interview published recently done by the Lady traditional medicine doctor who has apparently cured many people through the medicine developed by herself. In this interview, she actually vehemently DENIES the effectivity of Papaya leaves in curing dengue and says that it is counter productive – and dangerous in fact. That is rather disappointing to see her stance given the many instances, such as with you, Dingiri Banda, where the Papaya extract had actually worked.

    Does anybody know of any instance where Papaya Leaf extractions actually WORSENED the condition? I am very keen to know….

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