184893 Using Geographical Information Systems to ensure health services to target groups in Jordan: A Case Study on Iraqi Clusters

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 3:24 PM

Rasha Al-Osta , Jordan Health Systems Strengthening Project, Abt Associates, Inc., Amman, Jordan
Jordan has made human development a national priority and is investing significant resources to ensure that all its citizens benefit from access to health and education services and enjoy a reasonable standard of living. The growing Iraqi population migrating into Jordan, estimated to be as high as one million (18% of the population), has put a significant burden on public services. Accurate identification of Iraqi population clusters, of which an estimated 10% is using public health services, is a challenge, but will assist in justifying the allocation of additional resources to relevant health directorates absorbing the increased cost of service provision.

To improve access to public health services and ensure the inclusion of Iraqi immigrants, the USAID-funded Health Systems Strengthening project works through communities to identify health priorities and develop action plans to address them. The goal is to develop engaged, sustainable mechanisms for partnerships between health care services and the community, and to empower communities to become active participants in the health system and play a role not only in managing their own health, but in using the system effectively and responsibly through appropriate health seeking behavior. Community Health Committees (CHCs) have been established as the mechanism for outreach to community members. In addition, data collection of available health services and community resources within each health directorate are mapped and analyzed using GIS (Geographical Information Systems. This information is being used to better target and ensure that the Iraqi population's health needs are met, and that they are actively participating in community outreach activities.

This presentation describes approaches to develop community health committees, map community health resources, and engage the population including Iraqi population clusters. Through community organization, training, and volunteer involvement led by CHCs, responsibility for health promotion has been transferred to community level participants, and the advocacy role of these committees has improved utilization of critical health services. With the introduction of GIS, linkages between CHC activities, community and public resources, and the increased demands of population groups such as Iraqi immigrant clusters is better defined and can be translated into targeted policy and management decisions by the Ministry of Health at the national and directorate level.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the presentation the participants will understand how to use GIS to identify population groups at geographic locations, and how to ensure their access to health services through integrated community outreach programs.

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, Health Service

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Jordan Health Systems Strengthening Project staff person working directly on activities respresented in this abstract submission.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.