Kazakhstan Academy of Preventive Medicine has experience in health mapping (creation of electronic maps of healthcare facilities) using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in various regions of Kazakhstan.

In Kyzyl-Orda oblast and Aqmola oblast of Kazakhstan the Academy of Preventive Medicine has developed a comprehensive health map by integrating GIS information and statistical data on all healthcare facilities (census of healthcare facilities). Such approach provides important tools for regional healthcare administrators, enabling them to better analyze spatial relationships between different factors affecting health of populations residing in the region, to determine the needs for additional resources and to identify challenges and barriers affecting implementation of healthcare programs.

In Kyzyl-Orda oblast the following types of information were collected at healthcare and other types of facilities:

• Number of full-time and part-time doctors, nurses; availability of medical equipment, drug supply at oblast- and district-level healthcare facilities, rural ambulatories, and feldsher-obstetrics posts;
• Information on pharmacies, clinical laboratories and other facilities;
• Education facilities – schools (urban and rural), colleges and universities;
• Implementation of such programs as TB-DOTS, Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI), family planning;
• Administrative and government organizations;
• Industrial facilities;
• Automobile roads, railroads;
• Social and economic data – demographic indicators, economic infrastructure, agriculture.

In addition to facility survey the Kyzyl-Orda health mapping project developed 3-d models of healthcare facilities, such as Oblast clinical hospital, and Oblast diagnostic center. Such approach helps to better visualize locations, dimensions and other characteristics of healthcare facilities.

Current applications of geographic information systems (GIS) include the following:

• Uses of GIS in public health
• Determining the geographic distribution of diseases
• Analyzing spatial and temporal trends
• Mapping populations at risk
• Stratifying risk factors
• Assessing resource allocation
• Planning and targeting interventions
• Monitoring diseases and interventions over time

The GIS systems help to strengthen national surveillance, prevention and control activities through the delivery of user-friendly data collection and management and mapping applications. They also strengthen the management, analysis and monitoring of priority diseases through the development of rapid electronic surveillance systems supported by user-friendly web-based mapping.

Using this approach, the Academy of Preventive Medicine can provide the following services:

• Development of a strategy and concept design for healthmapping of a geographic and administrative region: working with the government on benchmarks and parameters for the data collection
• Development of methodology for healthmapping: selection of electronic platform (MapInfo, GoogleEarth, ArcView), designing survey instrument (questionnaire) for collection of health, demographic, economic and other types of data; designing a system for integration of data with geographic coordinates
• Organizing fieldwork for data collection at healthcare facilities, schools and other facilities; establishing a database for integration with geographic coordinates
• Developing 3-d images of healthcare facilities and integration of 3-d objects into the health maps
• Design methodology for analysis of statistical, epidemiology data, information on staffing, availability of medical equipment, clinical guidelines, textbooks and computers. Integration of such data into health maps.
• Training healthcare administrators and local staff how to use health maps and analyze statistical and epidemiological data in order to effectively plan and administer healthcare resources

Almaz Sharman, President, Academy of Preventive Medicine
Republic of Kazakhstan, Almaty, 66 Klochkov st, office 601
+7 (727) 317-8855