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  • Maliha Binte Mohiuddin, University of Dhaka

Gathering of Young Minds Under the Rooftop of YouthMappers

Ensuring the quality of public health is the right of every citizen. This motivation can create a bridge to integrate mapping with public health. For emphasizing the dimension of public health, YouthMappers can contribute a revolutionary change to the enhancement of public health history for every country.

The YouthMappers programme took place at the EMK Center at 2 PM on 26 October in collaboration with WHO Simulation Bangladesh. The participants who attended were students from medicine, dentistry, public health, food and nutrition as well as various disciplines from the University of Dhaka. The purpose of the programme was to include different young health stakeholders in one platform to synchronize public heath with OpenStreetMap.

Looking at the fact that, the participants were new to OSM technology and the YouthMappers project, it was imperative that we hold an introductory session, to educate and bring them up to speed on the OpenStreetMap platform.

We began by asking the following questions:

1. Why would we use OpenStreetMap instead of Google Map?

2. What kind of female health issues can be solved by this collaboration among young health stakeholders and YouthMappers?

We kick started with an enlightened discussion to introduce them to the basic knowledge about OpenstreetMap. Also, we showed them how to make edits and map buildings and roads using ID editor. When we finalized how to make maps with ID editor, it was about time to introduce them on how to get involved with the YouthMappers community, which turned out to be awesome and everyone enjoyed it.

After the preambles, we finally dove into the business of the day, which was a session titled “The new dimension of public health with the contribution of YouthMappers through OpenStreetMap”. This session aimed to convince everyone why the collaboration with YouthMappers and public health could bring about a historical breakthrough.

We included “Mapping for Malaria Prevention “ to show how the mapping has been used in the past to aid spray programmes to get rid of the mosquitoes.

Just recently, 1 million people were affected by the Chikungunya disease spread through mosquito bites in Bangladesh. In order to get rid of this disease, physiological support was provided for the victims as well as spraying the affected areas. However, this wasn’t enough, so the stakeholders have also acknowledged the importance of mapping as needed in the future to improve the condition of public health for more diseases like Chikungunya.

We discussed the “saving mothers giving life” project and how maps can bring an enormous change in the saving mothers and child health service. To conclude the event, we called on the Crowd2Map project in Tanzania to discuss how the map they are making is helping reduce female genital mutilation. These are the ways we have discussed how mapping is helpful in public health. We can also make a new meaning in public health with the contribution of YouthMappers.

When the “Lets Girl Map “idea was initiated, there were many interested female participants. The feedback from the audience was outstanding as they were eager to embark on a female sanitation problem. As we know in developing countries, there are so many open markets, but there aren’t sanitation options for women. They believe that through mapping, they can bring a great change to female health.

Participants were encouraged and enthusiastic, when they saw the statistics on how the YouthMappers activities are growing across the world. The project is helping to create information that previously was not available and is contributing to a better world through web-based GIS.

Maliha Binte Mohiuddin is in her final year of the Bachelors' program in the Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability at the University of Dhaka. She is interested in writing to inspire youth through words and she believes in Female leadership . In her free time, she participates in mapping activities and reading new technological stuff regarding mapping.

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