Water-Associated infectious Diseases in India: digital Management tools (WADIM)


  • Dr Nandini Menon

  • Dr Gemma Kulk

    Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom

  • Dr Michael Dillon

    University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

  • Dr Craig Baker-Austin

  • Prof Neelam Taneja

    Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

  • Dr Anas Abdulaziz

  • Dr Shubha Sathyendranath

    Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom

  • Prof Nicholas Thomson

    Wellcome Sanger Institute, United Kingdom

Project summary

This proposal focuses on India, which carries a heavy burden of multiple waterborne diseases, where medical infrastructure is poor, and where clinical data on diseases are difficult to access.

We aim to develop a multi-layered digital tool to map sanitation conditions and the occurrence of diseases that can be rapidly updated, especially in the event of natural disasters, such as floods, or changes in environmental conditions, notably monsoon rainfall.

The required data will be collected through a smartphone application aimed at local citizens and primary health workers, for direct uploading of data without external intervention, thereby filling an acutely-felt gap in information. Crowd-sourced data products on sanitation and diseases will be publicly and freely available. This will be complemented by routinely-updated satellite-based maps on risks from the presence of pathogenic environmental bacteria (notably Vibrio cholerae) in natural water bodies, and on environmental threats from heavy rainfall and floods.

Public engagement activities will ensure uptake of products by the general public and decision makers. The goal is to create a marked step down in the disease burden through improved technology and citizen scientist participation. The design strategy allows for translation of the methods to other localities and other diseases.