Demographic and health surveillance of mobile pastoralists in Chad: integration of biometric fingerprint identification into a geographical information system

  • Daniel Weibel | daniel.weibel@unibas.ch Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Esther Schelling Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Bassirou Bonfoh Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
  • Jürg Utzinger Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Jan Hattendorf Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Mahamat Abdoulaye Centre de Support en Santé International, N’Djamena, Chad.
  • Toguina Madjiade Centre de Support en Santé International, N’Djamena, Chad.
  • Jakob Zinsstag Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

There is a pressing need for baseline demographic and health-related data to plan, implement and evaluate health interventions in developing countries, and to monitor progress towards international development goals. However, mobile pastoralists, i.e. people who depend on a livestock production system and follow their herds as they move, remain marginalized from rural development plans and interventions. The fact that mobile people are hard to reach and stay in contact with is a plausible reason why they are underrepresented in national censuses and/or alternative sequential sample survey systems. We present a proof-of-concept of monitoring highly mobile, pastoral people by recording demographic and health-related data from 933 women and 2020 children and establishing a biometric identification system (BIS) based on the registration and identification of digital fingerprints. Although only 22 women, representing 2.4% of the total registered women, were encountered twice in the four survey rounds, the approach implemented is shown to be feasible. The BIS described here is linked to a geographical information system to facilitate the creation of the first health and demographic surveillance system in a mobile, pastoralist setting. Our ultimate goal is to implement and monitor interventions with the “one health” concept, thus integrating and improving human, animal and ecosystem health.

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Published
2008-11-01
Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
biometric fingerprint, biometric identification system, demographic surveillance, geographical information system, nomadic pastoralists, mobile livestock production system, Chad.
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How to Cite
Weibel, D., Schelling, E., Bonfoh, B., Utzinger, J., Hattendorf, J., Abdoulaye, M., Madjiade, T., & Zinsstag, J. (2008). Demographic and health surveillance of mobile pastoralists in Chad: integration of biometric fingerprint identification into a geographical information system. Geospatial Health, 3(1), 113-124. https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2008.237

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