(A GIS Approach )
By Adewara Monsur Babalola
The analytical capability of GIS has been explored in this work in an attempt to enhance the distribution of primary health care services in Enugu State Southeast Nigeria. With due consideration to the importance of health to the overall well being of every nation, the need for effective planning and management of the health care facilities in order to achieve optimum result in the country, can not be overemphasized. Information as to what is where is ever useful for any meaningful planning programme to be achieved. To facilitate the necessary information needs of a PHC services model, two major data types were obtained for this research, viz: statistical data and spatial data. The In order to achieve smooth database management and integration, object- oriented database creation method using ArcGIS 9.2 GIS package, was adopted. The method of database development is also described. Various forms of analysis were performed on the PHC data using the ArcGIS spatial analyst Arc toolbox with the aim to determine the various distribution patterns as well as the number of PHC facilities within a stipulated radius from each identified community /LGA Headquarters in the state.
Keywords: Primary Health Care (PHC), Database, Nearest Neighborhood Ratio (NNR), Proximity analysis.
The primary health care service delivery in Nigeria has been described as having mixed achievements. Depending on which perspective of observation, some have applauded the effort of the government in providing grass root health care services whereas in some quarters such services have been marred by inefficiency (Adeyemo, 2005). This is evidenced in the number of ailing hospitals across the country. Besides, the problem of inadequate manpower, obsolete equipment and unavailable drugs, most of the government owned hospitals are not optimally located which implies that community based accessibility to these medical facilities has been compromised.
By implication, the distribution of primary health care service in Nigeria has been characterized by significant disparity in their distribution. Such disparity is evidenced in the ways some of these medial facilities are concentrated in one geopolitical region at the expense of others. Such disparity often resulted in spatial inequality and equity that characterized Nigeria’s socio-political landscape. Even though the government has shown serious commitment towards addressing these inequalities, more is still expected in the areas of technical knowhow.
However, attempt to address such disparity from technical perspective may require the use of a cut edge information management tool such geographic information systems (GIS). As a result, this research study intends to investigate the nature of distribution pattern of primary health care facilities in Enugu State with the view to identify appropriate GIS tools to address disparity where available.
2. Statement of Research Problem
Of major concern in this research study is the problem associated with primary health care delivery service in Enugu state. However, the distribution pattern of medical health facilities in the state is evidenced in the concentration of these facilities in the urban centres (Nsukka, Enugu metropolis) at the expense of rural regions. In spite of these concentrations, the medical facilities in the urban centres still experience, obsolete equipment, overstressed/pensionable work force among others. Provision of such facilities in the rural centres is limited. These medical facilities often experience abandonments, dilapidated infrastructure due to declining population in the rural centres.
Perhaps, these experiences encountered in both rural and urban centres had reduced the...