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Abt Helps Senegal Map Solutions to COVID-19

To contain COVID-19, you need sophisticated data collection and analysis, something Senegal’s Ministry of Health knows well. That’s why the Ministry’s Health and Social Mapping Unit subscribes to a web-based, health GIS mapping tool. Abt Associates, by leading USAID’s Health System Strengthening (HSS) Plus project, is providing technical assistance to support Senegal’s use of the tool, which serves two purposes. First, the tool is strengthening the epidemiological surveillance of COVID-19 (and, in that role, it serves as the primary weapon in the national response). Second, with the software’s success, the Unit hopes to get the support of health authorities and partners for the purchase of a more complete suite of solutions later. That aligns with HSS Plus’s long-term objective of helping the Ministry acquire the full range of mapping tools to ensure the sustainability of this resource.

Engaging with the head of Senegal’s Health Management Information System, HSS Plus manages all stages of the mapping process, from design to implementation to monitoring. More specifically, HSS Plus assistance over the past four years has focused on providing:

  • Help to identify the minimum infrastructure, equipment, and human resources that all health facilities in Senegal must have.
  • Regular technical support to data managers at the district and regional level to ensure the quality of the data used to update the health map and to help them identify what actions they might need to take to improve their data quality.
  • Technical support to help the district and regional medical teams analyze trends and interpret health data to determine how they match against the norms.

The mapping software shows key data, such as the number of confirmed cases; the number of cases receiving treatment; and the number of deaths—all disaggregated by district and by day. The resulting data visualization—built to HSS Plus and the Ministry’s specifications—enables the government to quickly see the epicenter of COVID-19 infections and the evolution of cases. The data enables the near real-time allocation of financial and human resources for health, equipment, and supplies. The online mapping tool is also available to the general public for awareness and can be disseminated in the form of web maps, tables, and graphs.

HSS Plus continues to help ensure that the health information system and GIS mapping software have accurate health information—disaggregated by age, gender, and geography. With the data and these tools, Senegal is able to make important decisions about where to allocate resources.

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