Conference paper Open Access

Examining the Value of Satellite Data in Halting Transmission of Polio in Nigeria: A Socioeconomic Analysis

Borowitz, Mariel; Zhou, Janet; Azelton, Krystal

In 2014, Nigeria halted transmission of wild polio virus[1] for the first time in its history. A critical enabling component in this historic achievement was the use of satellite data to produce more accurate maps and population estimates used in planning and implementing vaccination campaigns. This paper employs a value of information approach to estimate the net socioeconomic benefits associated with this use of satellite data. We calculate the increase in the likelihood of halting transmission of polio associated with the use of the satellite-based information compared to traditional data sources, and we consider the benefits associated with savings to the healthcare system as well as health benefits. Using a conservative approach focused on just one year of benefits, we estimate net socioeconomic benefits of between $46.0 million and $153.9 million. In addition to these quantified benefits, we also recognize qualitative benefits associated with improving human health, reaching marginalized communities, and building capacity among local populations. We also explore the substantial benefits associated with follow-on projects that have made use of the satellite-based data products and methodologies originally developed for the Nigeria polio eradication effort.


[1] Wild polio virus is the original form of the virus and the primary focus of eradication efforts. When a community has relatively low levels of immunity, it is possible for the weakened form of the virus contained in the oral polio vaccine to revert to a vaccine-derived polio virus capable of causing paralysis. When the vaccine-derived virus circulates in the community, it is referred to as circulating vaccine-derived polio virus (cVDPV).

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