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Scand J Public Health. 2008 Jan;36(1):99-106.

Managing with maps? The development and institutionalization of a map-based health management information system in Madhya Pradesh, India.

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Division of International Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



This paper presents the development of a map-based health management information system (mHMIS) in the central Indian province of Madhya Pradesh. Sample outputs and statistics from the system for one district are presented. The implementation dynamics and the preliminary performance of the system are discussed.


The development of the mHMIS was a collaborative effort between the provincial Department of Health, the medical university and the Danidasupported Madhya Pradesh Basic Health Services project. One of India's most socioeconomically backward provinces, Madhya Pradesh is spread over an area of 304,000 km(2), and has a population of 60.4 million distributed in its 55,392 villages and 394 towns. A primary survey of all healthcare providers (public and private) in the province was done to map these. Secondary data sources for sociodemographic information (census of India), vital statistics and health program indicators (health worker records) were used in developing the system. The process of mapping from obtaining hand-drawn maps of the villages from the commissioner, land records, to final digitizing is also described.


Sample outputs and statistics for one district (Chindwara) from the system are presented. There were 20.35 trained doctors in rural areas and 72.78 in urban areas per 100,000 population. Preliminary experience after a year, advantages, constraints (both systemic limitations and weakness in the mHMIS) to optimal usage, and future prospects for use in this setting are discussed.

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