Malawi Medical Journal

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Not just pretty pictures: Geographical Information Systems in TB control

Thomas Nyirenda, Matthew Boxshall, John Kwanjana, Felix Salaniponi, Julia Kemp


Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is becoming a useful tool in disease control by health planners. However little is known about its potential in tuberculosis (TB) control. In 2000 the National TB Programme (NTP) in Malawi assessed its usefulness. Routinely collected case-finding data from the 3 previous years (1997 to 1999) were entered into a system containing a digital map of Malawi. District performance was mapped. We concluded that GIS may be complementary in monitoring TB programme performance, and may be useful for target setting, advocacy, and research. World Health Organisation (WHO) now provides free GIS software (Health Mapper) and training. However, the use of GIS in TB control still needs further piloting and expansion without constraining the locally available resources or disrupting the present TB data management system.

Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 17(2) 2005: 33-35
AJOL African Journals Online