Going Local…

HALI team members discuss disease reports from local newspapers

It is early morning in the HALI office in Iringa, Tanzania, and the team members are opening one of their most important tools for disease surveillance….the local newspaper. In our digital age of Facebook, YouTube, and online news, this approach might seem surprising, but local health information often doesn’t appear in larger scope online reporting. Even when they are collecting data in the field, processing samples, or meeting with local stakeholders, HALI team members keep an eye and ear on local media sources. Today’s newspaper might have news of sick livestock in a rural village or the radio might report an outbreak of an unknown disease in people living in a remote corner of the country. The HALI team is ready to recognize and respond to these reports by sharing the news with international disease monitoring teams and Tanzanian officials. With the HALI team’s local media surveillance work, critical information from a short Swahili article in a local paper can now be shared with sites like ProMED and HealthMap. That’s why, to help contribute to international disease surveillance and response, the HALI team is going local.

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