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Mobile Phones Could Help Diagnose, Properly Treat Malaria In Remote Areas, Study Says

“Mobile phones, along with local knowledge and field support, can help to ensure the effective diagnosis and treatment of malaria in remote rural areas, according to a study” conducted in Bangladesh and published this month in Malaria Journal, SciDev.Net reports. Examining “almost 1,000 phone calls to report suspected cases of malaria that were made over two years by inhabitants of a hilly and forested part of the country bordering Myanmar,” researchers found the phone calls, placed to field workers or study team members and followed up with visits, “were a useful way to detect and treat the disease in this community,” according to the news service. Wasif Ali Khan, lead author of the study and a researcher at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), said “that the use of mobile phone technology has the potential to build awareness of malaria through community participation,” as well as reduce the risk of incorrect diagnosis and treatment (Haq, 2/18).