Among the open hardware projects of the OHM Science Edition (Cohort 2), the focus on health is very important. That is the case of “Thermal sensor for intra domiciliary thermal monitoring in localities without reports of the presence of aedes aegypti”, a project led by Angelo Mitidieri Rivera, from Lima, Perú that aims to better understand the environmental determinants of Aedes infestation.
Angelo is a biologist with a background in IT and programming, oriented to apply bioinformatics to public health. He worked as a computer assistant in medical entomology studies related to Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits the dengue disease, and also in clinical studies with dengue patients, providing support in the development of web applications and databases. Later he worked on environmental health for the Peruvian State, with emphasis on the control of disease transmitting vectors, especially the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
“The project of intra-domiciliary thermal monitoring was achieved thanks to the support of the PAHO representation in my country”, explains Angelo. “They financed the consultant’s contract for the execution of the project idea that I presented with my team. It is also thanks to this that this project can be open, because unfortunately in our institution and in general in the government institutions of my country, there is no culture of using open licenses yet”.
The project develops a statistical model to predict the habitat suitability of Aedes aegypti in Peru. “As any model, it requires field validation”, he explains. “This was the basis of the proposal for funding. We have deployed the project in the city of Ilo, Moquegua, a region that has no reported presence of the vector, despite their attempts (somewhat scarce) to detect it by surveillance with ovitraps, and being surrounded by other regions with detected presence. For this purpose, we install the equipment in the living rooms of the houses to know how much the temperature differs from the outside temperature. So our hypothesis is that in the case of this city, what determines that the vector apparently has not been installed could be social determinants (income level, which leads to little or no potential breeding sites for the vector)”, details Angelo.
During the OHM programme, the project was tested and polished, along with its documentation, with the help of Emilio Velis as a mentor. “Having a structured curriculum is key to be able to focus on learning or deepen new topics”, says Angelo. “The educational materials were friendly and enjoyable. Having been selected by OHM programme also has a big symbolic impact on the project: it will help us to find institutional support for the next steps, like deploying the sensor in more places, where there is already the vector”.
The documentation is available here. Questions? Ask Angelo!
Photo by Mithil Girish on Unsplash