In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (and this might also happen in other countries), health boundaries proved to be significant. They are based on health infrastructures and used by all health related institutions. Many informations are gathered based on their limits such as population, health facilities and services, diseases... Health institutions and medical organisations do all use health boundaries as references, whose the need for having those referenced in OSM.
There are 2 levels of health boundaries that are most used:
- The "zones de santé" (ZS), it is the planning and operational level for primary healthcare. There are about 515 ZS accross DRC;
- And the "aires de santé" (AS), which is a level below the ZS.
The "districts sanitaires" are a higher level located between the province level and the zones de santé. It seems to be less used but would be relevant to be included too.
The ZS is a well delimited geographic entity (max diameter of 150 km) located within the limits of a territory (admin_level=6) or of a commune (admin_level=7) and containing at least 100,000 inhabitants. There are several "centres de santé" (CS) and one "Hôpital Général de Référence" (HGR) for each ZS.
ZS are divided in multiple AS. An AS is a geographic entity, containing a set of villages in rural areas, or some neighbourhoods in urban areas. The average population size of an AS is around 10.000 inhabitants. Each AS must have a CS.
Link between health divisions and healthcare structures:
Mandatory healthcare structures are: a "Centre de Santé" (CS) for each "Aire de Santé" (AS) and an "Hôpital Général de Référence" for each "Zone de Santé" (ZS).
Facultative healthcare structures are the "Centre de Santé de Référence" (CSR) and the "Poste de Santé" (PS). "Centres Hospitaliers" (CH) can also be found in the area.
Hierarchy of public healthcare structure within the province:
- HPR - Hôpital Provincial de Référence (1/province)
- HGR - Hôpital Général de Référence (1/ZS)
- CH - Centre Hospitalier
- CSR - Centre de Santé de Référence
- CS - Centre de Santé (1/AS)
- PS - Poste de Santé
Creating a relation for each health division.
The relation would contain the ways limiting the area and (maybe?) the node of the healthcare structure of reference.
- "health_levels" ZS and AS are found below the admin_level=6, but they don't usually match with the admin_level=7 to 10. Therefore, how do we choose to tag them? 1 for ZS and 2 for AS? or 6.5 and 7.5? ...
- Healthcare structure node: wouldn't it be a problem to include it in a relation of boundary type?