Online Program

Web mapping as a humanitarian knowledge platform

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Andrew Schroeder, PhD, MPP, Research and Analysis, Direct Relief, Goleta, CA
Lindsey Pollaczek, MPH, International Programs Department, Direct Relief, Goleta, CA
Jen Lemberger, MPH, Research and Analysis, Direct Relief, Goleta, CA
Background: Significant gaps exist in the global landscape of knowledge about obstetric fistula service provision. These gaps impair treatment and response by limiting understanding on the part of donor agencies, advocates, NGOs, and health providers of the areas in greatest need of investment and support. Using surveys to identify services provided and Geographic Information Services (GIS) to locate facilities a Global Fistula Map was developed to close these gaps, enhance coordination of resources and improve advocacy efforts. Purpose: The Global Fistula Map is a worldwide map of treatment services for obstetric fistula. The map addresses specific knowledge gaps in service availability and provision by displaying precise locations of surgical facilities and numbers of surgeries conducted, as well as capacity information detailing frequency of services, and other relevant facility information. Methodology: Using online, in person, and emailed surveys information about facilities was gathered on services provided, patients served, and location. GIS was used to plot the facilities worldwide and display associated service information. Demographic information related to obstetric fistula such as poverty and antenatal care visits were collated and presented as map services. Results: The map contains service data for over 170 facilities which provided roughly 15,000 fistula surgeries in 40 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Conclusion: Through this map access to care points and the women they treat are finally seen, aiding in a more global allocation of resources (medical materials, funds, etc.) as well as giving voice to an underserved population. The map is an evolving project updated through surveys and 'informed crowdsourcing '. The Global Fistula Map is an example of how maps can bring together knowledge from various individuals and sources to provide a fuller picture of a condition and serve as a tool for discovering AND addressing needs.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain the lack of knowledge associated with obstetric fistula prevalence and service provision globally. To learn how online tools can enhance data collection and presentation for mapping purposes. Identify differences in the distribution of obstetric care services globally.

Keyword(s): Maternal Health, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Andrew Schroeder is the Director of Research and Analysis for Direct Relief, and the principal analyst for the development of the global fistula mapping project. He received his PhD from the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU and his Masters of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
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.