BOX 7.1

GIS Data Layers and Diarrheal Disease in Nigeria

Diarrheal diseases are a major cause of mortality and morbidity in developing countries. The spatial distribution of severe diarrhea can be predicted, in part, as a function of the spatial distributions of geological features, population density, and environmental pollution (see Figure 7.1). Population density is important because, other parameters being equal, higher population density tends to increase the rapidity of the spread of disease and also causes an increased number of people to be infected (Halloran, 2001).

FIGURE 7.1 An example of GIS data layers showing environmental pollution and population density data superimposed on geological features to provide information for understanding the distribution of diarrheal disease in Nigeria.

SOURCE: Njemanze et al. (1999).

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