Development of a web based GIS for health facilities mapping, monitoring and reporting: A case study of the Zambian Ministry of health
Around the world health professionals and authorities, in many cases, do not have the ability to visualize health related spatial information to make timely decisions. The high cost of deploying a desktop Geographical Information System (GIS) for Public Health management coupled with the need for specialised training in order to use geospatial tools have contributed to the low uptake of GIS as a decision support tool in public health management. Lack of a real time data collection and visualization tool for health facilities has in many cases led to late responses in situations where time critical decision had to be made. This research reviewed recent literature on GIS in health care with particular emphasis on web GIS technologies and how they can aid in analysing health care needs, access, and utilization to support in the planning and evaluation of new service locations as well as use of GIS in disease surveillance. This research is aimed at producing a web based GIS that can be used to collect data from health facilities and in turn provide this data to public health administrators to support decision making, it also focuses on creating a portal for public interaction with health facilities spatial information.
Key Words: Spatial Decision Support System, Web GIS, Mapping, Health geography