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Fellowship News Archive

Adaptation Of GRASS Software For NACC Management Of HIV and AIDS Activities In Kenya

Fellow's Name: 
Crispin Matere
Fellows Track: 
Health Informatics
Fellows Cohort: 
First Cohort

Use and application of GIS technology can be a very powerful tool in facilitating quick and evidence-informed decision making. This is particularly so in the health sector where accurate and quick decisions are crucial.

Spatial analysis has taken giant steps forward in the recent decade. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software makes it possible to undertake a sophisticated visual approach to data analysis that, if done by traditional methods, would require unthinkable drudgery. Like statistical analysis, spatial analysis has been greatly enhanced by the availability of sophisticated software. The open source software initiative has facilitated access of ICT tools that would be out of reach of low income countries.

This project proposes training on use and application of GIS technology through adaptation of GRASS GIS software. A pilot geo-referenced database of active  Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in coast region will be constructed using the GIS tool.  The GIS tool will be used, among other things, to evaluate HIV/AIDS activities and funding patterns in the piloted area of coast region of Kenya. Furthermore overall data analysis using the tool and the pilot data will provide insight into the effectiveness of the current interventions, identify the focus of intervention activities thereby providing a mechanism for evidence-informed decisions.

To understand if funds are being spent appropriately, monitoring and evaluation will be carried out using the tool and corrective measures where and when it so demands shall be taken. In short, the GRASS GIS tool is an added decision support system (DSS) for the NACC management.

Of much importance is the increased capacity, through training of NACC staff in skills and knowledge in applying GIS technology to the complex issues of HIV and AIDS.