MozZapp – Engaging Citizens to Mitigate Dengue
A large number of dengue-related deaths have been recorded in the Western Province in recent years. This year alone, as of 31 October, over 61,000 cases of dengue have been reported to the Ministry of Health. Urban suburbs in the western province are shown to be the worst hit.
Following a request received from the Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, Citra entered into a partnership to develop a citizen-centered solution for dengue prevention and control.
Prior to developing a solution, Citra conducted several focus group discussions with relevant stakeholders, including the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and Public Health Inspectors (PHI), as part of the systems mapping process. We gauged the challenges within the current system and identified the needs of the officials that would have to be addressed by a potential solution.
Following these discussions, Citra conducted a survey of 300 residents in the Ratmalana area, with the help of students from the University of Moratuwa, to better understand the attitudes and challenges faced by the community around dengue prevention.
The survey found that:
89.3% felt a need for a reporting mechanism
81.7% were willing to engage with a platform
82% felt a need for increased accountability
Incorporating the input and insights gained through these methods, the Lab team carried out multiple internal prototyping sessions in order to design a solution which addressed all the challenges identified by the various stakeholders.
The solution was an engagement platform, which aims to improve the municipal council’s efficiency in identifying, managing, and monitoring dengue. The platform ‘MozZapp’ allows communities to send the exact location and picture of potential/actual dengue mosquito breeding sites, to relevant officials for necessary action. The resident lodging a complaint will be provided with continuous updates on the site they reported, until it is cleared by the health officer. The resident is then able to rate the services provided by the Public Health officer.
Additionally, the system also provides a user-friendly, interactive web interface to process and analyze data which will help decision makers predict and/or visualize potential risk-prone areas.
Having finalized the prototype platform, the team tested the application with over 300 households within the Ratmalana MOH area to ensure that any usability issues could be addressed prior to launching the platform to the public. The team was supported by volunteers, MOH officers and PHIs. The feedback received was incorporated to improve Mozzapp’s functionality and to ensure that the platform was user friendly.
The MozZapp platform, now a user tested, fit-for-purpose solution, was handed over to the Ratmalana MOH office in November 2019 for implementation in partnership with the Dehiwala- Mount Lavinia Municipal Council. Once implemented, the Lab team will conduct continued impact evaluations of the solution and revise or scale up accordingly.