Variations in the number of people in an area, and the movements of people between different areas, have important implications for a range of decision-making related to public health.
Not knowing their population denominator, due to people's movements, makes it difficult for health planners to calculate statistics or figures such as disease infection rates or monitor performance and measure progress towards their targets.
Using Data for Good
In collaboration with Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and Vodafone Ghana, through the Data for Good partnership, Flowminder is supporting GHS in improving existing public health metrics by using mobility data to estimate the number of people visiting or residing in an area in near-real time to provide a “dynamic denominator” when calculating per capita metrics.
With mobile operator data, and more specifically Call Detail Records (CDRs), we can measure both the short- and long-term variation in the number of people visiting or residing in each district of Ghana in near-real time.
Our goal is to incorporate CDR-derived estimates of population movement, density and distribution into Ghana Health Service’s work (specifically for disease surveillance, health service delivery planning and health metrics production). Our analyses will include::
- Estimate changes in local population counts (denominators) that arise from domestic mobility (internal migrations or relocations), and combine these with case counts to construct dynamic health metrics (e.g. disease incidence); and
- Quantify travels currently occurring between locations of interest (i.e., quantify the connectivity) in order to inform disease transmission models and estimate the spread of cases.
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS)
Ghana Health Service
Resource | Video
Ghana | How to use mobility data for health purposes in Ghana
In this short video, Cathy Riley, Strategic Partnerships Director at Flowminder, explains the importance of understanding population changes for public health purposes. She presents how mobile operator data can be used in Ghana - thanks to the Data for Good partnership between Ghana Statistical Service, Vodafone Ghana and Flowminder - to estimate fluctuations in population numbers and therefore calculate a dynamic denominator to use as a basis for planning and implementing efficient public health interventions.
Useful information & resources
CDR data has a range of other public health applications, including:
- Predicting the spatial spread of infectious disease
- Refining the targeting of interventions aimed at disease elimination
- Spatial optimising of environmental surveillance for infectious disease or public health messaging
- Assessing the impact of mobility restrictions for public health