Recent estimates indicate thatmalaria has led to over half amillion deathsworldwide,mostly to African children.
Indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides is one of the primary vector control interventions. However, current
reporting systems do not obtain precise location of IRS events in relation tomalaria cases,which poses challenges
for effective and efficient malaria control. This information is also critical to avoid unnecessary human exposure
to IRS insecticides. We developed and piloted a mobile-based application (mSpray) to collect comprehensive
information on IRS spray events. We assessed the utility, acceptability and feasibility of using mSpray to gather
improved homestead- and chemical-level IRS coverage data. We installed mSpray on 10 cell phones with data
bundles, and pilot tested it with 13 users in Limpopo, South Africa. Users completed basic information (number
of rooms/shelters sprayed; chemical used, etc.) on spray events. Upon submission, this information as well as
geographic positioning system coordinates and time/date stamp were uploaded to a Google Drive Spreadsheet
to be viewed in real time. We administered questionnaires, conducted focus groups, and interviewed key
informants to evaluate the utility of the app. The low-cost, cell phone-based “mSpray” app was learned quickly
by users, well accepted and preferred to the current paper-based method. We recorded 2865 entries (99.1%
had a GPS accuracy of 20 m or less) and identified areas of improvement including increased battery life. We
also identified a number of logistic and user problems (e.g., cost of cell phones and cellular bundles, battery
life, obtaining accurate GPS measures, user errors, etc.) that would need to be overcome before full deployment.
Use of cell phone technology could increase the efficiency of IRSmalaria control efforts by mapping spray events
in relation to malaria cases, resulting in more judicious use of chemicals that are potentially harmful to humans
and the environment.