02. Community mapping
- A map of the community enables you to connect issues or problems with particular places and makes information easy to see.
- It is a good idea to create the map together with community members.
- Community mapping is very useful in epidemics because it helps you to see where the biggest problems and needs are and to identify risks.
- The map can be used to support preparedness and planning before an epidemic occurs.
How to make a community map
1. Draw a simple spatial map that shows the community and all its key reference points. You should try to include:
- The whole community, concentrations of people, their houses, and who lives where.
- The main locations in the community (school, health centre, places of worship, water sources, markets, etc.).
- The location of vulnerable people who are most at risk.
- If possible, where the epidemic started and how it is spreading.
- Health hazards and risks.
2. Use the map to mark new cases and/or referred cases. Form teams to cover certain areas of the map. Each team should find out what it can about its area (how many people are sick, who is vulnerable, how many have been referred to health authorities, any other relevant information). When you combine the maps of different teams, you will be able to see which areas of the epidemic you are covering, which areas you may not be covering, and details of each area. This will help you plan your actions.
3. Maps are often easier to understand than words.