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Bill Gates Foundation using GPS to combat polio

US: Microsoft’s Bill Gates has said that his health and poverty foundation is using GPS technology to help stamp out polio in some of the last remaining places in the world where the disease has not been eradicated. The programme is designed to track small communities that are missing out on vaccinations.

There are now just three countries that have never eliminated polio: Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

In his annual letter from the Bill & Melinda gates Foundation he said that on a recent visit to Nigeria: “Fewer than half the kids were getting vaccines regularly, and there were no reliable figures for how many children lived in each area.”

“One huge problem the polio program found was that many small settlements in the region were missing from vaccinators” hand-drawn maps and lists documenting the location of villages and numbers of children. As a result, children weren”t getting vaccinated,” he explained.

“To help address this, the programme is piloting the use of phones equipped with a GPS application for the vaccinators to carry. Tracks are downloaded from the phone to a laptop at the end of the day so managers can see the route the vaccinators followed and compare it to the route they were assigned. This helps ensure that areas that were missed can be revisited so children are not left unprotected from polio,” the letter stated.

Source: Voice of Russia