Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health recently hosted an innovative disease mapping training course to equip public health specialists with the skills needed to map and manage the incidence and treatment of six neglected tropical diseases.
The 4 day course was taught by researchers from the LASER group (London Applied & Spatial Epidemiology Research) based at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in partnership with the AIM initiative and representatives from the Ministry of Public Health.
Attendees, including medical practitioners, field workers, data and programme managers, were trained in integrating case-management and NTD morbidity data (CM-NTDs) for Leprosy, Yaws, Lymphedema, Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, Trachoma and Buruli Ulcer into a mappable format using QGIS software.
These skills are a vital component of the Ministry’s efforts to support the design and targeting of Cameroon’s national NTD control programmes through the development of a national GIS health database of disease-specific indicators for Leprosy, Yaws, Lymphedema, Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, Trachoma and Buruli Ulcer.
The course trained stakeholders to convert this NTD data into maps and visual representations that can be used to guide their efforts for NTD case management and control.
The course included an overarching introduction on how to manage CM-NTDs within a QGIS’ interface and techniques to display the geographical distribution of incident cases and morbidities for varies illnesses. The tutorial also included methods to utilise online resources (e.g. OpenCage Geocoder) for geolocating point data with missing coordinates and geoprocessing tools for complex spatial queries and analyses.
The tutorial practical and manuals (and accompanying datasets) developed by LASER for this training are free to download from the thiswormyworld.org training pages.
- Practical 1: Becoming familiar with QGIS interface and GIS features
- Practical 2: Managing data tables and creating spatial data sets
- Practical 3: Creating your map layouts using the print composer in QGIS
- Practical 4: Approaches to georeference locations
- Practical 5: Basic GIS geoprocessing
Additional Training Resources
LASER have developed a series of free to download GIS practicals to build capacity in NTD mapping.