On Friday the 12th of July, eHealth Africa (eHA) hosted and trained a six person team from the Federal Ministry of Health’s Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) department on application of open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for public health interventions.
The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme of the Federal Ministry of Health is focused on addressing neglected diseases consisting of Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Schistosomiasis, leprosy, guinea worms, and many others. Their goal is to reduce morbidity, disability, and mortality caused by these diseases through the control and eradication of NTDs using cost effective approaches. The objective of the NTD team is to enhance monitoring and evaluation, surveillance and operations research in order to strengthen government ownership, advocacy, coordination and partnerships as well.
To foster the enhancement of monitoring, evaluation and surveillance, the Ministry of Health’s NTD department received training from eHA department staff on basic guidelines regarding the use of QGIS, a free and open source Geographic Information System software.
The QGIS training was a one day training which covered the introduction of geospatial technologies, applications for public health, installation of QGIS, interface and plugins, working with datasets, data manipulation and analysis, map creation and embellishment, and a practical session on map design and production.
The training was led by eHA’s GIS Architect and Department Lead Samuel Aiyeoribe, along with Ayodele Adeyemo, the Assistant Geospatial Analyst. These facilitators commenced the training following an overview of our organization presented by Health Delivery Systems Program Manager Wynfred Russell. The director of the Ministry of Health Director Mrs. Ifeoma Anagbagu also gave an overview about their organization, and an introduction to NTDs. Anagbagu shared how impressed she was by what was learned and the skills acquired from the training.
“I coordinated the Guinea Worm eradication program in 2007, and at that time we used HealthMapper for mapping and analysis of the the data. But from what I learned today, this goes beyond the Guinea Worm eradication program. We are looking forward to doing so much with the knowledge received here.” - Ifeoma Anagbagu, Ministry of Health Director
The NTD team as a whole was excited and satisfied with the training, and we were honored to hand them certificates for completing the training successfully.