Empowering Burkina Faso’s Health Sector: Leveraging Geospatial Technologies for Informed Decision Making and Resource Management
Enhancing Health Data Visualization and Capacity Building for Effective Health Management
The effective use of geospatial technologies in the healthcare sector in Burkina Faso is hampered by several major challenges. The scarcity of specialist skills and dedicated training limits their adoption, as does limited access to appropriate infrastructure and equipment. Gaps in the collection of accurate geographic data hamper the accuracy of analyses, with the risk of missing populations during planning.
Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene has acquired a National Health Information System (SNIS) and a master list of health facilities, enabling the generation of reliable health data and thematic maps to aid decision-making. At the same time, in the context of vaccination against COVID-19, the Ministry is seeking to map densely populated areas and identify optimal locations for vaccination, with the aim of achieving targets at all levels of the health system.
However, Ministry staff have limited knowledge of geospatial technologies as tools for researching and exploiting health data. To address this gap, the NGO GRID3 (Geo-Refereced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development), through the organization Dev-Afrique Development Advisors, trained 54 health workers from the 13 regions of Burkina Faso in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applied to health. They also provided them with 19 detailed micro-planning maps. As a result, the players involved can produce national and regional maps of health indicators, by locating health facilities in relation to population distribution, to visualize better and communicate health data for more effective management of resources.
By building the capacity of health workers in the use of geospatial technologies, Dev-Afrique is making a significant contribution to informed decision-making in public health, particularly in the crucial context of vaccination against COVID-19.
As a result of this capacity-building project, Ministry of Health staff were able to update the boundaries of the 70 health districts and the health map planning document.The updates to the health districts and the map planning document bear witness to the effectiveness of this capacity-building project, paving the way for more effective use of geospatial technologies in the health sector in Burkina Faso.