Application of geographical information system (GIS) for decision making in Kenya health facilities a case study of embakasi division
Kisongochi, Wycliffe Masielo
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The purpose of this study was to examine how tangible information and application of GIS on health facilities distribution. It examine spatial distribution (location), accessibility, reasons for choosing facilities, mode of transport, distance covered and time taken and services offered and inadequacy of the facilities and their distribution. It was a survey research that involved sampling selected facilities and health care seekers. The target population was 76 health facilities and 152 health care seekers in the area of study were sampled. 76 facilities and 152 health care seekers responded giving a success of 100% data. Data was collected by use of semi structured questionnaires containing both open-ended and closed-ended questions and was administered. The research data was analysed using descriptive statistics and summaries included percentages, frequencies, mean, standard deviation, median and mode and was presented in tables, figures, percentages, pie charts and means.. The buffer-zone analysis (Yeh and Chow, 1996), used to map the health facilities and services on the digitise map. A Likert scale and Location quotient analysis were used and Gini coefficient index was tabulated The study established that 42.1% of the facilities are private owned medical enterprises. 30% of the facilities have catchment of 501-1000 clients. There is disparity in health facilities distribution with a Gini coefficient of 0.649 and 32.9% of the populations is within 2km of public health facilities while 67% reside more than 2km to the facilities. The majority of the residents are constrained by travelling a longer distance or queuing for long periods to be served. Some of the facilities were to be closed others to be upgraded to provide equitable health care service. The study concluded that information from health seekers is important in planning for health facility distribution. The research demonstrates that GIS use to ensure proper decision making based on spatial distribution. GIS will assist stakeholders in the health sector in decision making and resource allocation. Issues of equity and health care delivery will improve in line with the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2030.