Poultry International - November 2017 - 22
22 ❙ PoultryInternational
How Thailand is fighting
Community engagement and a clever
phone app are helping to control poultry
and other livestock diseases in Thailand.
An army of volunteers with
smartphones and a reporting
app is able to alert authorities to
possible disease outbreaks and
elicit a rapid response.
Witthayap | Dreamstime
Community engagement and a clever phone app are
helping to control poultry and other livestock diseases in
The initiative is helping to address a lack of official
veterinary resources and a poor understanding of animal
health among the general population, and reverse a reluctance to report disease when identified.
Addressing disease threats at source
In rural Thailand, more than 75 percent of people keep
animals in their back gardens. This represents an extensive
potential reservoir for disease, threatening animal and human populations. The situation is exacerbated by a sometimes poor disease reporting and response system.
However, a new disease reporting system rolled out in
part of the country appears to be identifying more potential
infections, and is resulting in more and quicker responses,
stopping potential outbreaks in their tracks.
Created by Chiang Mai University , the surveillance
system utilizes an army of volunteers and the Participatory
One Health Disease Detection (PODD) app , a smartphone
app that allows pinpointed disease reporting in real time.
PODD brings together modern technologies and local
communities, with local volunteers acting as the eyes and
ears for disease surveillance, and was made possible by a
US$2 million grant from the Skoll Global Threats Fund ,
which supports initiatives to address pandemics and climate
change, among other areas.
After the development of various prototypes and discussions with government officials, the system went live in 2015.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ November 2017