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State of the Art on the Contributions and Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Epidemiology in Morocco



Driss Haisoufi1, 2, *, El arbi Bouaiti1
1 Laboratory of Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Rabat, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco
2 Highest Institute of Nursing and Health Techniques of Dakhla, Dakhla, Morocco


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Creative Commons License
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Laboratory of Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Rabat, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco; E-mail: drissepm@gmail.com


Abstract

Background

The Geographic Information System (GIS) plays a significant role in the healthcare information system. The use of GIS as an epidemiological research tool is very little known in Morocco. According to the Moroccan Ministry of Health's Health Plan for 2025, axis 23 aims to complete the deployment of the decision support information system through the implementation of the geographic information system with the goal of improving governance and optimizing resource allocation. This creates constraints in achieving the design of an appropriate GIS for modeling pathologies using remote sensing and spatial statistical methods. The current work aims to understand GIS and its applications in epidemiology, with a focus on the state of scientific knowledge related to GIS in epidemiological research.

Methods

A state-of-the-art review of the various uses of GIS in epidemiological research was conducted using several university databases, such as PubMed and Scopus, recent articles, and certain reference books, focusing on the following keywords: “utilization,” “GIS,” and “epidemiology,” as well as their synonyms identified by MeSH.

Results

The majority of GIS research applied to epidemiology primarily involves making observations using GIS, which are then incorporated into action plans to promote population health. Therefore, it is important to break down the aspects of GIS (Geographic Information System) usage in epidemiology into four components. These include epidemiological surveillance, determining primary healthcare needs, healthcare planning, and healthcare quality.

Conclusion

These results clearly demonstrate the significant contribution of GIS to the improvement of public health. However, there is a need for positive action regarding the integration of this system, especially in developing countries.

Keywords: Contributions, GIS, Epidemiology, Health, Surveillance.