Visualizing geographic challenges to health services is the first step to finding solutions

Nov 13, 2017

Geography matters in public health. It's necessary to understand where things happen. Are health facilities near the people who need them? Do diseases cluster in a specific place? Where should we direct resources after crises such as floods or refugee movement? These days, knowing the geography of virtually any human or physical phenomenon is easy. But, while the data is available, the tools to unlock what the data mean have largely been in the hands of experts. Now, that is changing.

The opportunities arising from this development are considerable. The Google Earth Outreach, Geo4Good summit this year showed the immense potential of spatial data combined with health system data. To help visualize how this looks, MEASURE Evaluation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), created this video. It shows how geospatial tools enable understanding if health facilities are accessible by considering geographic factors such as road networks and elevation. These tools can assist disaster risk modeling to predict impacts on people and the spread of infectious disease in urban, high density environments. All of this will help policymakers and health service providers put services where they need to be.

Watch the video and learn more about MEASURE Evaluation's related work.

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