REMOTE SENSING IN A CHANGING CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT: THE RIFT VALLEY FEVER CASE
Keywords: Climate change, Public health, Remote sensing, Risk mapping, Infectious diseases, Early warning systems
Abstract. Climate and environment are changing rapidly whilst global population already reached 7 billions people. New public health challenges are posed by new and re-emerging diseases. Innovation is a must i.e., 1) using high resolution remote sensing, 2) re-invent health politics and trans-disciplinary management. The above are part of the 'TransCube Approach' i.e., Transition, Translation, and Transformation. The new concept of Tele-epidemiology includes such approach. A conceptual approach (CA) associated with Rift Valley Fever (RVF) epidemics in Senegal is presented. Ponds are detected using high-resolution SPOT-5 satellite images and radar data from space. Data on rainfall events obtained from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (NASA/JAXA) are combined with in-situ data. Localization of vulnerable and parked hosts (obtained from QuickBird satellite) is also used. The dynamic spatio-temporal distribution and aggressiveness of RVF mosquitoes, are based on total rainfall amounts, ponds' dynamics and entomological observations. Detailed risks maps (hazards + vulnerability) in real-time are expressed in percentages of parks where animals are potentially at risks. This CA which simply relies upon rainfall distribution from space, is meant to contribute to the implementation of the RVF early warning system (RVFews). It is meant to be applied to other diseases and elsewhere. This is particularly true in new places where new vectors have been rapidly adapting (such as Aedes albopictus) whilst viruses (such as West Nile and Chikungunya,) circulate from constantly moving reservoirs and increasing population.