GIS APPLICATIONS ON EPIDEMIOLOGY WITH CARTOGRAPHIC
Dogru1, N.N. Ulugtekin1,
2 - District Health Directorate, Statistics and Communicable
Disease Control Unit,
Epidemiology is the scientific study of the spread and control of diseases as a function of time and location. It examines the incidence or prevalence, distribution and determinants of an infection, disease or other health-related event in a population. In this concept, epidemiology can be thought of in terms of the questions: who, where, when, what, and why. That are; who has the infection/disease, where are they located geographically and in relation to each other, when is the infection/disease occurring, what is the cause, and why did it occur. Since these questions are mostly spatial based, it should be better to evaluate them in terms of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Epidemiologists have traditionally used maps while analyzing the relationships between location, surrounding environment, and the disease. GIS technology allows them to examine these factors on maps easily and in an efficient way by the help of the spatial analysis executed based on permanent databases formed in this manner. Thus, it supports public health programs from small to large scales, varying from management of the departmental functions that run the day-to-day operations of a health organization to epidemiological mapping performed by the public health officials.
The use of GIS for epidemiological studies
is recent development in