Global Fistula Map
Excellent example of the use of GIS for mapping health data.
“In an effort to coordinate prevention and treatment of fistula across the globe, targeting outside help where it can do the most good,” the non-profit Direct Relief International has developed an interactive Global Fistula Care Map , “display[ing] more than 150 health facilities that provide fistula repair in 40 countries across Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East,” Miller-McCune reports. “‘Documenting where treatment is available is critical to providing care, raising resources, and restoring the health and dignity of women and girls living with fistula,’ Gillian Slinger, the United Nations Population Fund coordinator of the Campaign to End Fistula, was quoted in a release [.pdf] announcing the map,” the news service writes (Skenazy, 2/29).
Andrew Schroeder, Director of Research and Analysis for Direct Relief International, discussed the creation of the Global Fistula Map – available at http://www.globalfistulamap.org – at a recent meeting of InterAction’s GIS Working Group on March 22, 2012. The map is the first of its kind to demonstrate the global distribution of obstetric fistula surgical repair services. This collaboration between Direct Relief International, UNFPA and the Fistula Foundation, aims to show where, and how many, fistula surgeries are being performed annually, while also establishing the map as a platform for deepening awareness and knowledge of obstetric fistula. The map is continually updatable, such that additional facility locations and data may be proposed and validated by distributed means. Andrew discussed the challenges of designing, creating, validating and updating the map, as well as the contours of the partnership behind it and next steps planned in its ongoing development.