(From Left) Mr. Sunil Hettiarachchchi, Secretary – Ministry of Education, Mr. P. G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Chairman – Sri Lanka Telecom & Mobitel and Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Deputy Director General, Public Health Services officially launching the ‘DengueFreeChild’ app.
Mobitel, Sri Lanka’s National Mobile Service Provider, launched an innovative mobile app to help combat the spread of Dengue among school children in Sri Lanka at a special event held at the BMICH on 27 March 2018.
The ‘DengueFreeChild’ app was developed by Mobitel in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the University of Colombo and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The app enables users to proactively report of Dengue or suspected Dengue fever so that action can be taken to the premises around which the infection is prevalent for mosquito breeding areas as well as to alert other parents to keep a keen eye on Dengue-like symptoms in their own children.
Around 30 percent of all Dengue patients who sought treatment in 2017 were children, according to the data collected by the National Dengue Control Unit of the Ministry of Health.
“Early diagnosis of Dengue can save a child’s life,” says Dr. Hasitha Tissera, National Coordinator of the National Dengue Control Unit. “We have found that early diagnosis of Dengue and immediate treatment almost always leads to a complete recovery. The need for parents and carers to be alert and aware of the possibility of Dengue symptoms in their children cannot be overstated.”
Recent statistics revealed that there are nearly 4.4 million students in more than 10,000 schools across Sri Lanka today. As the Dengue mosquito is reported to be active during the morning hours, students are all at greater risk of being infected if mosquito breeding grounds exist in schools and surrounding areas. The app creates awareness and allows sharing of information quickly that enables parents and school authorities to take preventive action to stop the spread of Dengue. Ministry of Education through Health and Nutrition Division is actively contributing to maintain schools free of dengue breeding sites. Therefore, this new app will help them to monitor the situation more closely.
The ‘DengueFreeChild’ app has been created with separate user access for government officials and school authorities, in addition to the general public use of sharing and accessing information about Dengue patients.
“Dengue has become a critical national health issue, and as the National Mobile Service Provider, we had a responsibility to find ways to combat this disease,” says Isuru Dissanayake - Senior General Manager Marketing, Mobitel. “We are proud to collaborate with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the University of Colombo and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to design and develop this timely and much-needed application. It gives us immense satisfaction to leverage on our specialized mobile technology to enhance the wellbeing of the children of our country.”
The ‘DengueFreeChild’ app is now available for free download by Android Users on Google Play Store.