On the 17th August, 2021, the president of Ghana, launched the Agenda 111 project. The project includes 101 district hospitals, six regional hospitals in the newly created regions, two specialised hospitals in the middle and northern belts, as well as a regional hospital in the Western Region and renovation of the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital.
I have read in the news that objective of the project is to ensure that Ghanaians in every district and regions in the country have access to quality health care services. What caught my attention in about the objective of the project was improving the geographical coverage of health delivery in the country. Addressing geographical coverage means that policy makers are beginning to appreciate inequities in the distribution of health facilities in the country.
I saw on social media as well as mainstream about artistic impression of the proposed district and regional hospitals designed by an international architectural firm Adjaye Associates. What I did not see is the feasibility studies for sitting of the health facilities. I immediately recalled a course I took health care geography which provided me with understanding of health inequities and the capabilities of the use Geo-information tools for health care provision and planning.
In as much as I commend the government for recognizing the geographical inequities in the distribution of health facilities in the country. I would like encourage the government to make use of Geo-information technologies for siting of health care facilities in the districts and the regions. These technologies have the capabilities of analysing the existing situation, prioritization of planning intervention and evaluation of expected impacts. Geo-information technologies when I apply in the health domain deals with question: (i) How many health care facilities are required to meet a service level? (ii) What is the best place for a new health facility? (iii) Which health facilities needs to be upgraded?
With the use of Geo-information technologies policy makers will be able to secure a geographical match between resource need and allocation.
Author: Nafisatu Ahmed