Categories: GIS Industry

Using an Interactive Web and Desktop Based Spatial Technology to Monitor Performance of Public Health Outcome in Developing Countries

Exploring integrated FGIS tools with routine Health Information System provides precise results that have aided meaningful decisions by managers, technical officers, private and public policy decision makers to make sustainable and improved health care delivery decisions in the world of public health.


The USAID-PEPFAR project managed by FHI360 in Nigeria, sub-Sahara Africa has proved its worth, as we use FGIS technology to ‘produce visual reporting health information for decision making and performance tracking’.

FGIS (FHI Geographical Information System) is browser-based interactive data visualization and mapping application that runs on the FHI360 Nigeria intranet, an online resource that serves as a common framework for sharing geographic resources about FHI360 programs in Nigeria. The GIS resources include meta-database resources, map resources, and application resources, capable of performing quick rapid assessment and situation analysis of health care gaps and spotting targets with limited resources as it provide locational inventories of health care facilities and its services, furthermore it can be used to improve effectiveness, efficiency and equity of health services, since its integrated visual mapping with HIS database can be used to avoid duplication of service coverage.

The tool was developed in a very simple and easy to use manner, especially for non GIS professionals to visualize maps of commonly used program indicators and carry out simple analysis without using sophisticated GIS tools, users can view real time dynamic maps of indicators and location specific of health care facilities supported by FHI360 throughout Nigeria.

Its ability to quickly display geographical information shows that it is a good initiative for decision making support system. The ability to locate event, activity and situation spatially assisted the project in modeling epidemiological indices of diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS. For instance, malaria spread and HIV prevalence in the country can be monitored in relation to other environmental factors and its affected population. This tool has enhanced FHI360’s capacity to support other health institutions, research organizations and NGOs as well as the Government of Nigeria (GoN).

Figure 1: Interactive desktop and web based dashboard showing trend analysis in months of HIV-AIDS and Malaria preventions and treatment services coverage.

The developed web-interactive platform manages both dynamic and static maps produced using data from District Health Information System (DHIS) database (which is currently the National Health Information System database for Government of Nigeria and every other project database such as the LGA wide Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) program.

The website is the internal geo-portal of FHI360 Nigeria where map services are being offered for various purposes which include: Static maps for presentation purposes, interactive topographic maps to support decision making, interactive thematic maps for reports and decision making, data management for proper archiving and map download.


Figure 2: Zoomed – An Interactive location based dashboard where specific services are offered and facilities available.


  1. Shirima et al; The use of personal digital assistants for data entry at the point of collection in a large household survey in southern Tanzania. 4;5 PubMed Abstract.
  2. STATPLANET: Interactive mapping and visualization software” ; 2015;

Acronyms: FGIS: FHI- Geographical Information System; OVC: Orphan and Vulnerable Children; USAID: United Stated Agency for International Aid. DHIS: District Health Information System; LGA: Local Government Area; GIS; Geographical Information System; GoN: the Government of Nigeria; NGO: Non Governmental Organization; PEPFAR: Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief

About the Author:

Williams Ojo is GIS and Data management expert, with over 10 years of experience of using open source tools to provide solutions for decision makers in developing countries, A specialist in the use of GIS and spatial modeling for optimized resource management and monitoring trends  and impact of responses in the area of public health and humanitarian actions.

Acknowledgment: Frankline Echerue and Kunle Ogundele who worked with me during the development of this tool.

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