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Health Net
Institution: School of Public Health at the University of Ghana
United Nations Information Technology Service
United Nations Volunteers
World Summit on the Information Society
Theme: Electronic and Mobile Government, Internet Governance
Implementation Date: Jan 01, 1989
Summary: The Health Net project aims at improving the quality of life in northern Ghana. With its high child mortality rate, the Guinea Savannah of northern Ghana is possibly the most risky place in which to live. For every 1,000 children born, 222 die before the age of five. The most common causes of death are malnutrition, measles, lung infections and malaria.
Several organizations have provided funding for a research centre to improve the situation in northern Ghana. The research centre is well equipped with radio modem, computers and a satellite ground station that permit communications and information exchange through the Health Net project. Health Net is building a large database containing the names, ages, pregnancies, births, illnesses, recoveries and deaths in the region that will be used for better health care. Digital mapping is being used to track the information and to educate the population. A device the size of a calculator uses satellites to isolate landmarks such as family compounds. With a computer map that shows where planning is being practiced, the areas that require attention become obvious.

Impact: Information on the digital maps reveals discrepancies and can be used for better decision-making. For instance, half of the population was not protected by bed nets treated with biodegradable insecticide. With this knowledge, the community has reduced malaria deaths among children under five years of age to one sixth of the previous level.

Information from digital mapping will also be used to determine high-risk areas and behaviours that could be avoided to further save lives.

Source: United Nations Volunteers
Project Home URL: http://www.unites.org/cfapps/WSIS/wsis.cfm

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