World Health & Population

World Health & Population 13(2) October 2011 .doi:10.12927/whp.2011.22633

Reducing Maternal Mortality in Senegal: Using GIS to Identify Priority Regions for the Expansion of Human Resources for Health

Philip Massey

Abstract

In 2005, Senegal had an estimated maternal mortality ratio of 980 deaths per 100,000 live births, well above the global average of 400. The concentration of health workers has been shown to be associated with improved health outcomes, including maternal mortality. To explore this relationship, this paper uses geographic information systems (GIS) to examine the regional distribution of human resources for health and related maternal health indicators in Senegal. Results show that a regional imbalance in the distribution of health personnel and health indicators exists in Senegal. This disparity may contribute to the disproportionate burden of disease experienced in the eastern part of the country. Based on a spatial analysis, a priority index is used to identify regions to target for the recruitment and training of midwives. GIS is an appropriate and practical tool for governments and other agencies to use in identifying regional disparities and for priority setting.

 

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