Aug 19, 2010

The role of satellite-based navigation tools in the health world

The role of navigation tools on the public health world is inseparable from the use of GIS (Geographical Information System), or the term generally is mapping. When used in the health field, both of these closely associated with health information systems in a broad sense.

Its use in the world of public health aimed at helping provide information so that decision makers can do its job more easily and accurately. Here the decision maker does not always mean the administrative structure of governance, but also can mean that community groups and individuals. If decision makers do not use the information provided, then this activity is a waste of time, effort, and funds.

Today, many party menggunakaan satellite-based navigation devices and mapping in planning, deciding, implementing, and evaluating the program - a community-based programs. The most frequent use is a non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international and national, in the disaster control programs. Consumption in the health sector in Indonesia is still very little can be said almost nothing.

The biggest problem is the cost and resources available, and is therefore rarely interested parties to develop it. If already available, knowledge about the benefits of the information obtained is also still in doubt. Questions that need to be answered is: How important is the benefit gained? This became a central question because although information from the mapping is not available, all activities during this still can be done.

True, without information from pemetaanpun result, public health programs can be conducted. However, what about the 'time' required to achieve the desired condition? And what can be more accelerated when the decisions taken better targeted? There lies the main functions of the health information system, this system should be able to provide the necessary information so that decision makers can do a good job. The same mistake not be repeated again the perfect time to come. For example, the same disease outbreak is not solved in the same way from year to year, so that eventually became the regular outbreaks.

Mapping and use of satellite-based navigation tool is a part of your overall health information systems. Without the support of other parts, then the benefits gained will not be maximized. Further, if the decisions made had nothing to do with the information obtained, the information systems function is lost.

The type of information can be displayed depending on the data entered into the mapping system. This mapping system can integrate data numbers (in the form of statistics, survey results, the monthly reports, etc.) from the health information system with a visual map. So that can be viewed at the macro and micro.

For example, in the image on the right, visible image of places where TB disease treatment service providers in the country of Zambia in 2004 that the material is taken from WHO (World Health Organization). The information will be shown will resemble this information, which will have no meaning if not accompanied by 'story' and is followed by analysis. For example, these maps can be seen that the scope of services has not been able to reach all areas equally. This information can be used by decision makers to improve the condition.

Coverage mapping not necessarily in a large area, but can be used for small areas, such as a village. Map on the above example also consists of a combination of areas of the smaller, which can be selected for display on the screen. Types of visual information such as the above are not absolute should be available, because the analysis could be done by using the figures contained in health information systems.

So, the main function of the above mapping is to facilitate decision-makers to improve existing conditions. With the presence of visual information like this, so users can more easily see the situation and conditions. The next step remains on decision makers.

WHO has been providing free programs for the purposes of this mapping, which will be used in conjunction with the survey program (also free) to them. This program can be downloaded for free from http://www.who.int/health_mapping/tools/healthmapper/en/index.html. Furthermore, on the WHO website, this mapping results can be unified with other countries online. Of course, only the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia can do it for the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. Results of mapping of the entire world can be viewed at the following address: http://www.who.int/health_mapping/tools/globalatlas/en/index.html.
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