Partner 20: Agriculture and Veterinary Information and Analysis (Avia-GIS)

Role, qualification and experience

TigerMaps – Aedes albopictus model,
click to enlarge.

“Agriculture and Veterinary Information and Analysis” is a Belgian consultancy founded in 2001 that specializes in the collection, processing and analysis of spatial information as a basis for the development of data driven space-time information systems (STIS) applied to veterinary and public health in general and emerging vector-borne diseases (VBD) in particular. The company focuses on the application of state of the art techniques that broaden the scope of conventional analyses and help bridge the gap between research and decision-making including: geographical information systems (GIS), spatial analysis, geostatistics, and earth observation.

TsetseRSA – Glossina austeni model,
click to enlarge.

Avia-GIS offers a range of services within its field of expertise to research teams, governments and private companies. These include in addition to research and technical development (RTD): consulting, software development and capacity building services. The company operates as a spin-in company offering state-of-the-art tools and methodologies as an added value to existing research teams as a partner to joint RTD projects or through the establishment of broader collaborative framework contracts.

Avia-GIS preferred RTD topics are: spatial distribution models related to VBDs, denominator mapping and spatial modeling (i.e. mapping the population at risk), and wind dispersal models for arthropod vectors of disease and agricultural pests. Obtained model outputs are embedded in spatial information systems for further epidemiological analysis and decision support.

Avia-GIS develops a commercial software platform, Avia-geoTools, which includes a variety of spatial application tools for the management of spatial risk. Currently focus is on the development of Vet-geoTools a spatial veterinary information system for the improved real-time spatial management of infectious disease outbreaks.

Avia-GIS contributes to graduate and post-graduate seminars, leads the annual three week GIS and epidemiology module at the MSTAH, (ITM, Antwerp, Belgium) and leads the bi-annual three months distance learning Course in GIS for Veterinary and Human Health (UP, Pretoria, South Africa). The company develops ad hoc distance learning tools to assist with capacity building.

ECFRisk – Sample size and model
output: e.g. distribution model
R. appendiculatus in Kenya,
click to enlarge.

MAPBEN – Cattle breed distribution
model for West Africa,
click to enlarge.

Avia-GIS bvba established Euro-AEGIS EEIG in 2004, a strategic alliance with The Environmental research Group Oxford Ltd (ERGO, UK).

Scientific leader

Guy Hendrickx, DVM, PhD, founder and managing director of AVIA-GIS is a spatial epidemiologist specialized in GIS and spatial information systems, with particular application to integrated vector-borne disease control, risk mapping and livestock geography. He has over 20 years professional experience in Europe and Overseas, including long term postings in Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo and Burkina Faso.

Key personnel

Alexandra Shaw, BA, MA, PhD is an economist, with over 30 years experience of analyzing the economics of health programmes in both the medical and veterinary sectors, working in over 20 African countries for a wide range of bilateral and multilateral development agencies. Member of the Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis’s Programme Advisory Group and has served on WHO’s working groups on the economics of Human African Trypanosomiasis and Rabies. She will be leading the work in WP9. Further support will be provided by Els Ducheyne, MSc, PhD, Eva De Clercq, PhD, and Els Goossens, MSc, bioengineers specialized in GIS and Bart De Groot, BSc, an ICT specialist.


AVIA-GIS, Belgium