Johannesburg, South Africa: Digital mapping company MapIT is using geospatial technology to streamline the battle against HIV/AIDS in South Africa. According To the company’s press statement, a many private, NGO and state organisations are involved in HIV education, prevention and treatment that there are often overlaps and gaps in terms of targeted areas.
This coordination problem became the rallying point for The Compass Project, which is funded by the Netherlands and run by the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) in Gauteng.
MapIT is offering the project a tool called MarketScope, which is also used by businesses to chart demographic trends in the marketplace.
“MarketScope pools demographic data and geospatial map data, and has proved to be the suitable solution for charting, in map format, the spread of HIV/AIDS in relation to local population counts,” said the company. It added that geo-coding and subsequent map production allows planners to pinpoint the location and adequacy of earlier established medical resources to service communities in specified areas. This enables practitioners to identify areas of need, or zones of service duplication. Members of the public are also able to use the interactive Web mapping page to search for their closest HIV testing facility and get directions.
The FPD, working closely with the South African National AIDS Council and the Department of Health, has applied a software application which will work in collaboration with the HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign. The initiative was launched in April with the aim of testing 15 million sexually active individuals in SA by the end of 2011.
This task includes the collation of statistics received from field workers and processing it in such a way as to yield an accurate map of all service providers and accurate HIV service-provision information. Using this information, organisations, service providers, government and the private sector would be in the position to more effectively plan, strategise and address HIV/AIDS issues within their respective communities.