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Tropical Data

This large-scale project uses smartphone technology to gather data as part of the global fight to eliminate trachoma.

A man in scrubs standing outside.

Tropical Data is a data-collection initiative that helps countries carry out surveys as they work towards eliminating trachoma.

It uses the same approach and technology as the Global Trachoma Mapping ProjectThanks to the two projects, on average one person has been examined for trachoma every 26 seconds since 2012. And since Tropical Data began in 2016, the initiative has supported ministries of health to conduct more than 2,400 surveys, examining 7.6 million people in more than 46 countries.

Working in some of the most remote and difficult environments, the service helps countries to collect high-quality, standardised data, and there are plans to extend the service to support other neglected tropical diseases.

The Tropical Data website

The main website contains further information and resources, and enables programmes to request a survey and manage their data.

Visit tropicaldata.org
136 million
people are at risk of going blind from trachoma
7.6 million
people have been examined so far as part of Tropical Data
More than 2,400
surveys have taken place in 46 countries

How does the project work?

Smartphone technology is just one aspect of the service. Data is sent from the field to the secure cloud-based server, where a data team works with health ministry staff to clean, analyse and approve the data, much faster than previous paper-based surveys. The service also provides epidemiological support to countries to develop their surveys, and a globally standardised training system.

With the evidence generated by the Tropical Data project, ministries of health are able to pinpoint exactly where to run trachoma treatment programmes and offer life-changing support. It also highlights where treatment programmes are no longer needed because interventions have been a success. Crucially, this helps countries gather evidence for the World Health Organization to show where they are free from the disease, so trachoma elimination can be declared.

Tropical Data is run by a consortium of partners including the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, RTI International and Sightsavers. It is made possible thanks to the support of governments in endemic countries, plus UK aid, USAID and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

Visit the Tropical Data website for more details

Visit tropicaldata.org

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