Crowdsourcing GIS: Halting the Spread of Polio in Somalia
- Reaching “every last child” to eradicate polio is challenging in areas where you are unsure where populations reside.
- Crowdsourcing and mapathons have proved to be an effective way to rapidly provide information for a public health response.
- With over 150 volunteers participating in the first mapathon event, over 278,000 buildings were digitized to help direct the vaccination campaign.
“After three years without detecting any human cases of polio in Somalia, finding polio in two environmental samples let us know that we needed to quickly identify any potential gaps in vaccination coverage in order to help keep Somalia polio-free. CDC and more than 150 volunteers successfully mapped and digitized more than 278,000 structures in Mogadishu in only three days, which was crucial for vaccination campaign planning, resource allocation, evaluation sampling, and ensuring that every last child could be located and vaccinated.”
-Amy Lavery, PhD, MSPH, EIS Class of 2017
CDC Media Relations
Amy Marie Lavery, PhD, MSPH, EIS Class of 2017
CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences
Geospatial Research, Analysis and Services Program
Education: PhD: Temple University, 2016; University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston, 2012; MSPH: Texas A&M University, Health Science Center, 2010; BS: Texas A&M University, College Station, 2005
Work Experience: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2016-Present; Adjunct Professor, Arcadia University, Glennside, PA, 2015-Present; Clinical Research Project Manager and Senior Research Assistant, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, 2012-2016; Graduate Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant, The University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX, 2010-2012