Through the Missing Maps project, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supports initiatives like the 2-week mapathon that took place in Conakry, Guinea from May 8-22, 2019. This event was able to bring together up to 25 young people that with their volunteering work, helped MSF to get important geographical data in order to run operations on a massive area as the Kouroussa Prefecture in Guinea-Conakry.
This is a translation of the blog (in French) of Emmanuel Kourouma from GeoSynapse* in Guinea, he writes about their collaboration with MSF.
*GeoSynapse is a national association promoting the use of GIS and Open Source to build decision making support tools in Guinea and in Africa.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a private charitable non-profit and humanitarian organization. Founded in 1971, it offers emergency medical assistance in situations such as armed conflict, natural disasters, epidemics and famines around the world. This emergency medical assistance implies a good knowledge of the roads, tracks and paths of the area of intervention to access them. Production of accurate maps of the area will help teams perform epidemiological analyses, monitor diseases and plan their logistics.
Within the scope of humanitarian aid, MSF responds to various health needs. Which include an emergency response to disease outbreaks in Kouroussa prefecture and Sanguiana subprefecture, such as malaria among children under 5 years of age. The MSF organization uses mapping as a decision-making tool based on the production of Open Data (roads, tracks and paths).
According to his needs, MSF organized a two-week Mapathon session by bringing together 30 mappers from the GeoSynapse Guinea organization for the digitization of the “roads, tracks, paths and rivers” of the Sanguiana Sub-Prefecture and of the Kouroussa prefecture. This session started with a brief and brilliant presentation of OpenStreetMap and an upgrade of the various mappers on JOSM (mapping software) for a better apprehension of the tool.
This capacity building allowed the mappers to achieve the objective set by being efficient in the digitization of the entities of the various tasks created on the HOT tasking manager of which in total six (6) and two (2) others on the Francophonelibre tasking manager over the area of intervention where children from 0 to 5 are facing severe malaria. It was a real success for the whole of the team to help MSF to produce geographical data of the area of intervention while having mapped and completed 100% of the created tasks needed for the project.
This project aimed to map the sub-prefecture of Sanguina and Kouroussa prefecture affected by humanitarian crises as epidemics. Building on HOT disaster mapping projects, Missing Maps tasks allowed preventive mapping of priority countries to facilitate humanitarian response, medical activities and resource allocation in a crisis.
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