On Tuesday 45 staff of private clinics based in Kigali completed a four-day training on the use of a new information system to facilitate rapid and accurate data sharing on health issues.
The training was jointly initiated by Kigali City Council and the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) through the Institutional Support Program to the Conception and Implementation of a Strategic Health Development Plan of Kigali.
Hope Tumukunde, the vice-mayor in charge of social affairs at KCC, said that the new system will be very helpful in establishing health policies, given that many people go to private health institutions for treatment.
“The new system will easily provide us with relevant data and facilitate in making new policies based on local reality,” Tumukunde said. “The information will indicate that a certain illness has a high prevalence, such kind of medicine is mostly needed and the like.”
As for the importance of integrating the private sector into the system, she explained that the number of people going to private health institutions for treatment remains high in the city although exact statistics have not been collected.
The new system is a web-based tool that makes it possible to collect, validate and analyze all health information by data managers of the health ministry. All districts also have data managers.
Hans Maesen, junior assistant in charge of health information system at the program, explained that the ministry of health, starting from January 2012, has integrated District Health Information System (DHIS-2) as a new software system to manage health information from the public health sector, but the private health sector still lags behind.
It is in this context that the initiative introduced the new software to staff working with the private health sector so that they can report relevant information on time.
“We really used to keep our information in our machines and report by using electronic mails or manual system which is not effective and time consuming,” said Immaculee Kizima, a senior officer in charge of the curative and prevention unit at BNR clinic. “We now hope to be able to easily share our information with high officials from the ministry.”
The session trained 45 workers from private clinics while the next sessions target to train 70 personnel working with private health dispensaries of the city.