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About Public Health Surveillance

 

Public health alerts on air quality, outbreaks of disease carried by water-borne vectors, and assessments of access to health facilities are informed by Earth observations and help to achieve SDG Goal 3 on Good Health and Wellbeing.

Description

GEO will advocate the value of Earth observations, engage communities and deliver data and information in support of Public Health Surveillance by yielding insight into the threat of vector-borne and environmentally-linked diseases, taking into account impacts of climate change; in order to promote a substantial reduction in the number of fatalities and illnesses from infectious diseases, environmental pollution and health risks, through raising public awareness and supporting policy making and management with accurate monitoring and early warning at local, national, regional and global levels.

Summary description of 2016 Plans

The 2016 activities will address the following topics

  • Access to improved environmental information and tools to support the global community of human health and environment experts.
  • Increased use of environmental information and tools to support decision making in epidemics and/or disease management and planning for well-being.
  • Examine and integrate current real-time 24-hour average and annual average modeling, calculations and techniques to optimize efficient use of data sources and platforms.
  • Establish robust working teams in at least three topic areas: weather and climate extremes (e.g., heat); water-related illness (e.g., cholera); and vector borne disease (e.g., dengue, malaria). The teams will identify and engage health partners and clarify health needs; address training needs; identify and address; observation and prediction gaps and needs; and establish work plans with the goal of having at least one prototype system in place for each topic area by 2020.
  • Further develop and implement integration of air quality monitoring, related estimation and modeling protocols optimizing both remote sensing and in-situ platforms, including small sensors with the goal of providing improved information for use in public health assessment tools.
  • Focus on the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimates, in particular those related to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, with the goal of providing results of sufficient granularity at a scale useful to citizens, communities and decision makers.

About Health

  • Changes in the natural environment can compromise human health. Droughts may lead to malnutrition and life-threatening forest fires. Dust storms and smog often cause respiratory illnesses. Algal blooms contaminate seafood. Climate change and extreme weather events are associated with a wide range of health risks. Emerging infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Lyme appear to be linked to land-use changes that have opened up previously hidden pathways for disease transmission.
  • The Group on Earth Observations is working with the Health community to improve the flow of user-friendly environmental data. Comprehensive data sets support prevention, early warning, research, health-care planning and delivery, and timely public alerts.
  • Gathered and distributed through the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, these Earth observation data contribute to improving our understanding of how the environment affects human health and well-being. Key variables include airborne, marine, and water pollutants; stratospheric ozone depletion; land-use change; persistent organic pollutants; food security and nutrition; noise levels; weather-related stresses and disease vectors; and many others.
  • For example, remote-sensing observations of weather, land and ocean parameters can now be used to predict outbreaks or trends in infectious diseases such as meningitis, malaria and cholera. Such data need to be readily available to public health workers in a format that they can use.
  • The GEO Secretariat Experts responsible for Health are Doug Cripe.
 

Related Work Programmme Activities

 

Community Activities

Integrated Water-cycle Products and Services

GEO Water Quality

Water Cycle Integrator (WCI)

E2E Water Indicators

Linking water tasks with wider societal benefit areas and the post-2015 global development framework

 

GEO Initiatives

Global Observing System for Mercury and Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs)

Ocean and society - Blue Planet

Integrated Information Systems for Health (Cholera, Heat waves)

Integration of Methods for Air Quality and Health Data, Remote Sensed and In-Situ with Disease Estimate Techniques

Earth Observations in Service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
 

Contact person in the GEO Secretariat

Secretariat Expert: Douglas Cripe - dcripe@geosec.org

Contact

Contact Us

e-mail: secretariat@geosec.org

phone: +41 22 730 8505

fax: +41 22 730 8520

Address

7 bis, avenue de la Paix
Case postale 2300
CH-1211 Geneva 2
Switzerland

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GEO Secretariat
7 bis, avenue de la Paix
Case postale 2300
CH-1211 Geneva 2
Switzerland

e-mail: secretariat@geosec.org
phone: +41 22 730 8505
fax: +41 22 730 8520