Space for Global Health

The UNISPACE III resolution entitled "The Space Millennium: Vienna Declaration on Space and Human Development" states that:
"… activities of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications should improve public health services by expanding and coordinating space-based services for telemedicine and for controlling infectious diseases."

The Programme on Space Applications:

  • promotes application of space-based solutions to health care by providing capacity building opportunities in the areas of tele-health and tele-epidemiology (landscape epidemiology),
  • assists Member States to use satellite remote sensing, global positioning, GIS and satellite communications to integrate ecological, environmental and habitation data into the development of predictive models used for disease surveillance and control activities

There are about 1,400 infectious diseases, some of which are among the most important causes of death in developing countries. Half of the world's population lives in affected areas. Ultimately the impact of all climate change threats to the environment, economy and security will be on human health. To combat epidemics with coordinated responses, there is a need to establish an integrated global alert system.

Information derived from Earth observation and meteorological satellites in combination with GIS and GNSS has increasingly been used to study disease epidemiology, enabling increased use of spatial analysis to identify the ecological, environmental and other factors that contribute to the spread of vector-borne diseases by locating "hot spots", monitoring disease patterns and defining the areas that require disease-control planning. Moreover computer and telecommunications technologies, including satellite communications, to bring medical experts into virtual contact with patients or doctors in remote and rural areas.

The Programme on Space Applications assists developing countries in making use of space-based solutions to fight the spread of these diseases.

Space and global health documents

See below for recent documents relating to Global Health. For more documents, search the Documents Database.

GH documents

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