Ruman M. Zakaria Salam, Rubana Islam, Syed Jafar Raza Rizvi, Tanvir Ahmed, Rushdia Ahmed, Tanzir Ahmed, Alayne M. Adams
Waking up every morning in a city with perils of rapid urbanization is tough. Impact of this on health is huge; air fills our lungs with happy lead, clogged roads making patients die during transfer, sedentary lifestyles indulges us to NCDs, commercialization restricting health choices and what not. In daily life finding a facility for surgery means affordability, quality. For providers, referring patients means availability, distance and traffic. Resource allocation and expansion is an issue for need analysis and distribution of services in an area for decision makers. While these are policy concerns, Bangladesh lacks in appropriate policies for urban health. In this chaos, we believe bridging gaps through information can strengthen decision making; ‘Dr. X wants to refer someone for ultrasonography. He enters the platform, spots a facility within 2 km with appropriate support and refers. Or Mr. Y, a ward councilor, now knows none of the medical professionals in his ward has training on diabetes.’ Urban Health Atlas: Scaling up of a practical tool for urban health planning was funded by GIZ which is a geo-spatial and service mapping of all the health facilities in Sylhet (north-eastern Bangladesh) City Corporation. The submitted project is the beta version of an information platform, which can be used by local planners to analyze gaps and relocate healthcare points, policy makers to need-based resource mobilization or consider referral linkages to address need for human resource. Patients can also use this to search for services or facilities in respect to cost and/or proximity.
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