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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-25

Information technology in morbidity management of human lymphatic filariasis—A promising tool in global programme for elimination of lymphatic filariasis

1 School of Information Technology, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore; Software Engineering Department, SRM University, Kattankulathur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
R Renuka Devi
Assistant Professor, Software Engineering Department, SRM University, Kattankulathur, Chennai–603 203, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.234622

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Background & objectives: India is a signatory to the 1997 World Health Assembly resolutions on lymphatic fila- riasis, and other neglected tropical diseases, and supports global elimination of lymphatic filariasis by 2020. The global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (GPELF) has two main components, viz. interrupting transmission of LF through mass drug administration; and managing morbidity and preventing disability. Consorted efforts by the Public Health Department in Tamil Nadu state (India) for elimination of LF was launched in the year 1997 concentrating on both the components of the programme. The data on the prevalence of filarial morbidity and its entire management at present is based on manual reports and registers maintained by the field functionaries. To overcome the constraints in the manual reporting, an attempt was made to develop a web-based reporting system with different modules and user-friendly interface. Methods: The Vellore and Thiruvannamalai districts were selected as a study area. The study was conducted between 2011 and 2014, which revealed that the entire morbidity management was based on the manual formats. Constraints in the present manual reporting were analysed. PHP and MySQL tools were used to generate user friendly modules. Feedback was collected from field functionaries at different health centre levels, on the adequacy in the modules and effectiveness of the web-based reporting system. Results: The online reporting modules facilitated data entry at the health subcentre level itself. Analysis and retrieval of data was facilitated at all other levels in the public health system. The modules also covered details of surgical interventions, ex-gratia payments and other benefits extended to the lymphoedema patients by the Government. Interpretation & conclusion: The usage and feedback of the web-based reporting system appeared very encouraging and reliable, indicating that it can be implemented in health programmes for disease management. This web-based user-friendly online reporting system can contribute largely to achieve the goals of the GPELF; specially after MDA is withdrawn.

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