Veta Life, a technology startup, is attempting to address the ever growing issue of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and zika. To put things into perspective, in the first eight months of this year alone, over 38,000 cases of dengue have been reported along with over 60 dengue related deaths. Furthermore, since the identical mosquito spreads both dengue and zika, the emerging disease zika could pose a significant risk to Sri Lanka as well.
According to health authorities, eradication of mosquito breeding habitats is considered to be the single most important factor in limiting the spread of diseases such as dengue and zika. The App launched by Veta, has a set of interesting features which can hopefully address general public disinterest towards the issue and negligence that are considered to be the biggest contributors to mosquito breeding sites.
The App allows individuals to set locations that are frequently used by them and their families, for instance their home, office or school. Along with these frequented locations, users can also set an alert radius, across which the set locations need to be monitored for cases. The App also allows users to report cases of dengue along with the incident location, and this in-turn will serve as an alert to other users in close proximity to that location.
The benefit of the App is that it will enable users to exercise greater vigilance and take extra safeguards in any location that has a relatively higher number of reported incidents. By making it personal, Veta believes that people will start taking mosquito breeding sites more seriously, before it impacts one’s own family.
With an intuitively understandable design that allows new users to easily navigate the App and instantly figure out how to use it, Veta is hopeful that even simple smart-phone users will be able to comfortably use the App. Furthermore, given that Smartphone penetration is growing exponentially in Sri Lanka, there are greater benefits in mobilizing the general public and in collecting this data. For instance, analysis of user reports may reveal patterns and enable authorities, who are often faced with limited resources, to focus their efforts while dealing with epidemics.
Given that one mosquito breeding site in one household can impact an entire neighbourhood, every citizen of this country has a moral responsibility to strive towards zero mosquito breeding sites at their homes, offices and public spaces. Only in so doing, can we protect ourselves, our families, our neighbours, and most of all, our future generations from diseases such as dengue and emerging diseases like zika.
The App, available for Android and iOS devices, is free to the Sri Lankan public and can be viewed on Veta’s website www.veta.life.
The App offers a host of features, such as:
♦ Frequented Locations: Users can set locations that are used by them and their family. Veta will constantly monitor them for its users
♦ Set Protection Zone: Users can receive alerts when Veta’s community of users submit any case reports within their zone
♦ On the Go: Users can always be vigilant. They can search new areas they visit for a historic summary of reports by Veta’s community
♦ Submit Reports: Users can do their part to keep their community alert. Report an incident, and they could help save a life