The world has made incredible advances in medicine, but preventable diseases like malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS still claim millions of lives every year, and the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa shows how much strengthening many countries' health systems are.

Data can help us understand the causes of these unnecessary deaths and how to prevent them. In Namibia, satellite and cell phone data has supported the elimination of malaria. 80,000 people most critical to slowing malaria transmission were identified, allowing interventions like bed net distribution to be optimally targeted to disrupt the infection cycle, reducing the cost of reaching to the whole population.

"The essence of global health equity is the idea that something so precious as health might be viewed as a right."

Dr Paul Farmer