This photo shows a mud structure in a rural part of Zambia’s Southern Province. (Photo by Nelson Davis)
Last year, PATH, the Zambian government, and Tableau Foundation launched a five-year campaign to eradicate malaria in Zambia by 2020.
The team has already made tremendous progress. As of April, data showed the efforts of Zambia’s Ministry of Health had already achieved a 93 percent reduction in reported cases since 2014! We find ourselves at an ideal moment to move from a strategy of malaria control to a strategy for malaria elimination.
And now we need your help. Join us in our fight against malaria by helping map buildings in Zambia.
Maps and geospatial data are playing a crucial role in this project. They’re helping us visualize where resources are relative to incidence hot spots.
The next step involves predictive modeling. With a significant contribution from our friends at Alteryx (through their Alteryx for Good program), we’re working at the intersection of geospatial data and predictive modeling to see and understand the situation. We’ll be able to explore factors like topographical wetness, elevation, population movement, and density trends—all using custom shapes.
This data can help Ministry officials make choices about effective resource deployment and give community-health workers actionable information to work with.
But we can’t build out these resources alone. We need your help.
In creating our maps, we started with satellite imagery provided by Mapbox. Then we added custom-shape layers of Zambian provinces, districts, and facility Voronoi.
This sample Tableau dashboard uses Mapbox satellite imagery with custom-shape layers for Zambian districts. It also shows hub-and-spoke representation of community-health workers and their distance to the health facility they report to.
Now with help from Mapbox, we’re developing maps that improve our understanding of the existing topology—both the natural and man-made structures that are hospitable to malaria. The team can use this information to respond quickly with medicine to follow up and treat individual malaria cases. The team can also deploy resources such as indoor spraying and bed nets to effectively protect families living in the immediate vicinity.
Here is an example of a map of Livingstone, Zambia, extracted from OpenStreetMap and converted into Tableau:
As you can see, the map isn’t complete. We have some work to do in order to reach household-level granularity.
This is how you can help the cause. Using iD editor, which allows anyone to edit OpenStreetMap,
you can trace buildings in Zambia’s Southern Province. This level of detail will play a major role in helping Zambian community-health workers hunt down every last case of malaria and wipe it out once and for all.
Follow these steps to join us in our fight.