Monday, January 25, 2016

GIS for Health and the Environment

GIS can be used in a number of different beneficial ways, GIS helps investigate questions related to location, trends, condition, routing, patterns and modeling. GIS can be used to help track down diseases in a specific area, and control the effects of this disease within this area. In the map below, heart disease among adults older than age 35, tend to be more prevalent in the Southeast.

 By mapping this out, this provides a scientific base for the health ministries to deliver  health equity and strengthen primary health care.  GIS is the tool that can take a look at statistics by interpreting the situation out on a map. All sorts of data can be transformed and subjected to GIS analysis. Tsaselle Nuttall et al. provide examples of GIS application in the integration of environment and health in the control of schistosomiasis in Botswana and Senegal. In Morocco, surveillance data from the schistosomiasis control program of Botswana and Senegal will be integrated and subjected to GIS analysis. environmental factors caused by diseases or disease transmission can also be determined by GIS. Images mapped would be applied to the study of eco-epidemiology, a branch of epidemiology that focuses of the environmental effects and factors determined by health, and can indicate what resources could be mobilized for the benefit of mankind. Malaria transmission in the Brazilian Amazon was tracked using GIS tools and strategies in order to find the root of the outbreak. GIS can be applied to identify specific features in the land that are responsible for these epidemics. GIS can take a variety of data to track and measure outcomes, such as topological sheets of soil types,  water table, topography, irrigation drainage, water bodies  and meteorological data. GIS is not only useful for tracking numbers, but is also useful to find solutions to these health and environmental issues we are facing in certain areas of the world today.

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. Colleen Nair
Sharma, V. P. (May 01, 1997). GIS for Health and the Enviroment. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 2, 5, 508.


  1. Can this map also differentiate who has heart disease among men and women, to see who is more susceptible?

  2. This map deems to be really helpful because we can see what regions have strong primary health care systems and which ones do not. Why does the south have a higher rate of heart disease?

  3. Thinking back to our in-class example of how putting stores where highest demand is creates food deserts, I wonder if such a thing exists as hospital deserts? A map like this would have to be handled quite carefully if it was used to determine placement of hospitals, since if any information were misrepresented, lives would literally be at stake.