On December 15th and 16th, UCSF Global Health Sciences hosted the Aerial Mosquito Control and Surveillance for Malaria Elimination Meeting at their new Mission Bay campus to discuss innovative approaches to malaria vector control. The Skycatch team was asked to join the conversation and serve as subject matter experts on the use of drones for aerial imaging and data processing.
David Chen, Senior Director of Engineering, spoke to a group of academics and industry professionals about Skycatch capabilities and then answered a series of questions regarding possible applications. Members of the conference included Parker Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, both of whom are funding the UCSF Malaria Elimination Initiative.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2015 there were roughly 214 million malaria cases and approximately 438,00 malaria deaths with a majority of those occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. During two days of discussions we discovered numerous areas where we might be able to augment existing vector control activities and greatly increase the efficacy of existing solutions. Conversations are continuing and, in addition to our other initiatives, Skycatch will continue to support this critical work.
Skycatch Relief efforts are expanding with a deployment earlier this year to Nepal following the massive earthquake in April and a new Skycatch@School educational initiative. We are excited to support the fight against malaria and continue to expand our relief efforts, working to alleviate crises with autonomous aerial data capture and data processing.