The Tupaia Project | Mapping 160 Clinics across Vanuatu

Tupaia is mapping 160 clinic across Vanuatu. We run this short extract to allow you to know why they are mapping 160 clinics and what type of mapping are they doing.


Our mapping teams, led by local pharmacists, are moving around countries in the region, collecting baseline data from clinics, health centres and hospitals on all the information that we need to know – does a clinic have electricity? When was the last time the staff received clinical training? Has the building been damaged in a recent disaster?

At the same time, we have released a mobile version of the stock management software (mSupply) that each of these countries use, so that clinics can track and order stock from the warehouse using a tablet computer. With the support of DFAT, this program – ‘mSupply Mobile’ – has been released open-source around the world, so that users in any country can immediately begin using this innovative tool for free.

All this incredibly valuable information will then be made available right here at Tupaia.org.

Different people, different needs

Of course, different people need to know different things, so Tupaia presents customised information to different user groups, so that everyone has the tools they need, when they need them. The public can see basic information about each facility, while the Director of Pharmacy gets access to incredibly detailed information about the availability of medicines, equipment and the services that each facility provides. To apply for access to more data on Tupaia, please get in contact with us or the Ministry/Department in your country of interest. Donors may like to focus their Tupaia experience on Family Planning, Malaria, Tuberculosis or the Cold Chain – we have enormous amounts of data available and with country permission, we may be able to share this with you.

How can you help?

This website isn’t the only difference either…

with Tupaia, you can join in! Once we have collected the baseline data, we hope that everyone else will collect it for each country. Donors, health staff, visiting medical teams, church groups and even the public – everyone is capable of collecting valuable information and keeping Tupaia updated.

To collect this data, we use an app called Tupaia MediTrak. Search for it in the iOS App Store or Google Play, register to use (you need to be registered in each country of use) and you can start collecting data too! The app is free and can be implemented by any country or organisation… the information we collect is simple but hugely important and it shouldn’t be left to expensive and rare surveys every few years.

Get the app here: iOS App store or here: Google Play Store / Unlimited users, unlimited surveys, free of charge.

Who was Tupaia?

Tupaia was a revered Pacific Islander from Ra’iatea who was able to map the islands of the Pacific using only the stars and natural cues, including the wind, birdlife and the direction of the waves. Incredibly, he was able to accurately draw and navigate to several islands he had never visited, using the knowledge passed down to him by his father and grandfather. He joined Captain Cook’s crew as it came through Tahiti in 1769 but died in Java in 1770, probably of malaria or dysentery.

Sustainable Solutions is a New Zealand based company with offices in Auckland and in Kathmandu, Nepal. First developed nearly 20 years ago, their mSupply software is used in over 30 countries worldwide, including Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and nearly every PIC. They currently partner with a range of government donors, private enterprise and multilateral agencies, including DFID (UK), USAID, The Clinton Health Access Initiative, UNDP and CAIPA.www.msupply.org.nz

Beyond Essential Systems is an Australian company specialising in innovative technologies for improving medical supply chains and geospatial epidemiology in low resource settings. They have undertaken work in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and are currently undertaking consultancies for DFAT, WHO and the World Food Program.www.beyondessential.com.au

This is an extract. To read the full article please go to Tupaia.org.