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Short term visit with Avia-GIS, Zoersel (Belgium)

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- Medical entomology: sampling strategy, taxonomy and bioecology: V. Versteirt and F. Schaffner from AVIA-GIS (Belgium) travelled to Guadeloupe, 30 June-4 July 2014 to deliver a training workshop for several entomologists in Guadeloupe. Throughout the training, further discussions were organized with the trainers and the epidemiologist and medical entomologist of CIRAD Guadeloupe with respect to the study design of the entomological project in Guadeloupe. Most particularly, we discussed sampling strategy for both the longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys aiming at identifying West Nile vectors and completing the inventory of mosquitoes in various Guadeloupe ecosystems. The VecMap software, a seamless system developed by Avia GIS for planning efficient mosquitoe sampling strategy, modelling and risk mapping, was introduced to the participants and proposed as a tool to be used to assist with the cross-sectional study. It was proposed that the medical entomologist was trained using that software with another short term visit in Belgium 2 months later.

- Medical entomology: GIS and use of the Vecmap software for the sampling strategy: N. Pages (Medical entomologist, CIRAD Guadeloupe) travelled to Belgium, 22 Sept - 03 October 2014

The training was an introductive lesson to Geographic Information System and the use of Quantum GIS and the VecMap software to better manage entomological surveys to be performed in Guadeloupe in the framework of Epigenesis project. The VEcmap software was expected to help on the selection of the mosquito sampling sites, the management of the surveys as well as further epidemiological analyses. The first week was devoted to GIS introduction where theory was coupled with practice using QuantumGIS software to get skills over the wide range of tools available to work on spatial epidemiology. The second week was devoted to the use of VecMap software that consists of both software and supporting services. The system includes three integrated software components: smartphone based field sampling and data collection; statistical distribution modelling; and a centralised GIS information system and database. Field work was performed as well as a simulation test to assess the smartphone application. Vecmap has been since settled at CIRAD with the support of the spatial epidemiologist who has used that programme in other research studies.

Spatial epidemiology: GIS platform and Geonetwork: E. Declercq (Spatial epidemiologist, CIRAD Guadeloupe) travelled to Belgium, 16 Sept - 30 September 2014

The objective of the mission was to get familiar with the latest version of the GIS software QGIS (version 2.4.0) that is being used in the Caribbean within the EPIGENESIS project. The spatial epidemiologist received a training on the GeoNetwork, which is an online platform for spatial meta-data-collection and distribution available on the AviaGIS server. She particularly was trained on how to installa and use the GeoNetwork for use by the Caribbean partners within the epigenesis project. Finally, she received training on data retrieval for satellite imagery from VITO: Proba V. Over the last 16 years, ESA has provided instruments onboard the SPOT satellites for mapping worldwide vegetation (named the SPOT-VGT sensors). These sensors are not longer working since 31th May 2014. The follow-up for these sensors will be launched at the end of September 2015. In order to fill this gap, the Proba-V sensor has been launched on 06/05/2013. PROBA-V is a satellite of Belgian built and has a constellation of 3 cameras that daily observe the land surface and vegetation at similar spectral wavelengths as SPOT-VGT, but with an improved spatial resolution.  The products can be downloaded from www.vito-eodata.be. At the AviaGIS offices, we have worked together towards obtaining the necessary registrations, testing the download protocols (ftp vs direct download), and exploring the import possibilities of the downloaded products into GIS software. AviaGIS has reported several bugs to the distributor (VITO).

Set-up of an Alert system in the Caribbean: G. Hendrickx (Avia GIS executive) travelled to Guadeloupe to discuss (17 April 2014) with the Project coordinator and the epidemiologist on the needs and future development of an alert system for diseases surveillance in the Caribbean. Further exchanges and discussions are being organized with E. Ducheyne and the spatial epidemiologist in order to develop this system along with the Caribbean Veterinary Information System and the CaribVET Members.


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