Using mapping services allows health system workers to better understand the whole of the systems in which they work. In order for that mapping to be useful, it needs to have enough granularity of information. Currently when you want to add information about health system structures to OpenStreetMap, your only option is to add a "hospital" which is an insufficient level of detail. OpenStreetMap doesn't allow for mapping health systems with enough granularity; everything is a "Hospital".
Let’s work with Open Street Maps to define with more granularity the different levels of a health system so that Volunteers and their counterparts can map the health services available in their country. At least 4 levels are needed:
- Advanced Hospital
- Basic Hospital
- Health Post
- Health Hut
Additionally, there should be fields that allow you to add more information about the health structures:
- Ambulance (Y/N)
- Operating Block (Y/N)
- CD4 testing (Y/N)
- Size of catchment area
- Private or Public
- Staffing: Doctors, Nurses, Midwives, Community Health Workers, etc.
Lastly, there should be a way to map the catchment zone of the health facility.
OpenStreetMap is a great starting point for this project: http://www.openstreetmap.org/
Health is one of the core sectors that Peace Corps works in, and if such a mapping system existed, this could be a valuable tool for Volunteers to use. The initial roll out, Volunteers could actually create the maps for their countries, which could then be used by subsequent Volunteers, the communities, and the countries themselves. The tool would be made available on Peace Corps Knowledge Management Exchange as well as publicly.