Google maps emergency care hospitals


Google head of Communication and Public Affairs Dorothy Ooko explains how to access information about health facilities on the Google Maps during the launch on May 15, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG

Google has mapped 178 public health centres offering emergency care services across Kenya, a move that will see locals access detailed information about hospitals promptly through the company’s search engine and maps.

The technology firm collaborated with Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation (EMKF), BPS Systems Online and the Ministry of Health to digitise the information.

The health centres mapped include public, faith-based and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)-operated hospitals in the initiative dubbed Project 47.

Google and partners have so far covered 41 counties and are working to cover the rest that include Lamu, Samburu and Marsabit and Mandera in the near future.

The partnership has leveraged Google’s expertise in mapping organisations and other public entities on the web by creating free websites, using Google My Business, a custom solution for Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs).

“Google’s main mission is ensuring that information is universally accessible regardless of a user’s location,” said Google Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Sub-Saharan Africa, Dorothy Ooko.

“Project 47 is doing just that; ensuring that emergency centres are mapped for ease of access and that the hospitals have a working website and information therein is up to date.”

The Project 47 initiative is geared towards availing crucial information to the public about nearest health facilities offering emergency care services, as a way of ensuring that lives are not lost to emergencies like heart attacks or injuries from road accidents.

“Many people have died trying to get to the proper health centres; this initiative is aimed at ensuring the public is empowered with information especially regarding the nearest emergency centers, details that can be used to save lives. And that these centers are well equipped,” said Dr Benjamin Wachira, the leader of Project 47 and an emergency physician at the Aga Khan University Teaching Hospital.