WHO Global Health Facility Database: Ensuring access to primary health care and UHC – Global
The new World Health Organization Global Health Facilities Database will be a key resource to help countries provide access to health services for all populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed urgent gaps in countries’ current capacity to locate health facilities, which is hampering progress in providing equitable access to treatment, diagnostics and vaccinations through the ACT- Accelerator and other initiatives.
As a standardized, open-access repository of health facility information, the database will provide essential information for delivering primary health care, especially in emergencies. It will also leverage the power of geospatial data to map health facilities to communities and help close long-standing inequities in access and use.
“Understanding health infrastructure at national and subnational levels is critical to addressing pressing global and local challenges and achieving universal health coverage, as outlined in WHO’s Triple Billion Goals,” said Steve MacFeely, Director from the Department of Data and Analysis of the World Health Organization. “The Global Health Facilities Database will allow us to harness geospatial technology and use data to create better health outcomes for all.”
The database will include a digitized master list of health facilities with name, location and type coded by a unique identifier. Initially, it will host data from 46 countries representing 40% of the world’s population with the aim of including all 194 WHO Member States by 2027.
It will be regularly updated and maintained by WHO in accordance with best practices in data governance, data sharing and WHO data principles in agreement with participating countries.
“With a complete, complete and up-to-date master list of health facilities, countries and partner organizations can reduce fragmentation, avoid duplication and promote efficiency in the delivery chain,” said Ravi Shankar, Technical Lead from the World Health Organization GIS Center for Health. “With this resource, we can truly transform healthcare facility data from a global gap into a global public good.”
The database is created in response to the eleventh session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) which highlighted the need to make this resource available as a global public good . The database will be made public by the end of 2022.
Global Health Facility Database webpage: https://www.who.int/data/GIS/GHFD
GIS Center for Health: https://www.who.int/data/gis