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HEALTH The use of ICT4D in health service delivery PDF Print E-mail

By Patricks Omogi – Jinja Diocese.

Integration of ICT in health system is still a new phenomenon in Africa. It is a powerful tool that can revamp the challenges of inadequacy of accurate, complete and timely information. This therefore, comes with a number of challenges given that even the health workers not only show little interest but also their skills are very limited.

For the past one year, Connect for change (C4C) – a Dutch funded consortium of NGOs has been aiding the Health Department of the Diocese of Jinja on Information Communication Technology (ICT) through the Performance Based Financing (PBF) project supervised by CORDAID, a member of the consortium. PBF is a system where more funds are released for implementation only after proof that the previous disbursement served the intended purpose.  The project has been implemented in 8 Diocesan Health facilities. Following favourable external evaluation of PBF, an extension to other facilities was granted. Since PBF and ICT are closely linked, the plan was to extend ICT project to the same facilities. A decision to consolidate PBF in one district was taken to show tangible results that can easily convince more stakeholders and more importantly government to replicate it around the country.
Majority of the health facilities are owned by the government and given the laxity in data collection that has existed in the Government facilities, more effort and support is needed than with Diocesan Health facilities. Among the urgent capacity development needs are computer training, thorough data audit, training in data and financial management using the computerized system.
From October –December 2012,  Jinja Diocese  undertook a research to conduct patient satisfaction surveys to evaluate heath delivery services both at the facility and community level using smart phones. The analysis of the survey results has shown that, smart phones were highly appreciated given their effectiveness In terms of time, reduction on paper bulk and quick analysis over other methods. There is a plan to expand the usage of the smart phones to conducting community data verification and quality assessment surveys of the 4 districts (62) facilities at the end of the one year PBF project.

By Nalule Sarah and Irongo Daniel - Health Child
Health Child has been operating a resource center located in Masese area, Jinja District since 2008. The resource centre was established with funding and technical support from CORDAID and the International Institute for Commutation and Development (IICD) to primarily reach child bearing women, village health team members, children and men with health information.  The resource center is equipped with 29 computers and a repository on maternal and child health was created and is  utilised by Village Health Teams (VHTs) and community members to access health information.

In 2012, Health Child expanded its maternal and child health program to Northern Uganda in Lira and Apac Districts. With this expansion, Health Child embarked on an optimal option to upgrade the repository online to enable its accessibility by health workers and VHTs in Apac and Lira through the Health Child website.
This year, Health Child has partnered with Aduku Mission HC II in Apac District to set up a resource center. Under the partnership four desktop computers with wireless Internet connectivity were donated to the health center and a computer training program for 25 health workers in Apac District has been initiated. 

By Moses Wangudi - HAG
Following the training of partners in the health and education sector by IICD and I-Network to develop interactive educational content in 2012, HAG made use of the acquired skills to implement a project at Rhino Camp Secondary School. Here, the youth were introduced to content developed to encourage young people to confidently access Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) related information.
The provision of a supportive environment and use of innovative ICT tools has been found to be motivating and boosting young people’s ability to access and openly discuss with confidence HIV/AIDS and SRH.
The relationship between teachers and students in the school has greatly improved.  Teachers are now non-judgmental and approachable to young people. They are also confident when using ICT to communicate SRH information to students
HAG looks forward to developing the organization’s ICT policy.

By Esther Nalugya - UNHCO
There has been an increase in the number of beneficiaries reached with information on maternal health, rights and responsibilities and this has been through use of text messages, radio talk shows and community meetings. Progressively the communities have embraced the SMS technology and for that reason the platform has registered 1720 beneficiaries and all these have been reached with information on maternal health. The project has also reached 118 pregnant Mothers with Anti Natal Clinic  reminders and maternal health information. 257 feedback messages were sent from the districts of Lyantonde, Kamuli and Luweero.

Community advocates participating and learning how to send feedback using mobile phones.

Radio Talk shows: Radio talk shows have been and are still running on community radios within the districts of implementation. These avenues are used to respond to community maternal health concerns. These talk shows are facilitated by the district focal people together with health workers from the different health facilities on a Rota basis. This creates ownership, support and community empowerment. On a monthly basis we air out two radio talk shows in all the three districts of implementation. Through these talk shows the district leadership is also given an opportunity to respond to queries coming in from the community such as recruitment of health workers, expansion of the health facilities and lack of drugs.

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