The Health Informatics Governance and Data Analytics (HIGDA) training programme to empower county health information officers on the use of geographical information system (GIS) in analysis and presentation of health data, is bearing results. A review by participants on integration of GIS in healthcare provision, revealed that the training has enabled the heath officers to approach routine tasks in ingenious ways with corresponding positive outcomes.
Siaya County Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinator, Oscar Kambona, said that he gained analytical skills that has enabled him to present data in ways that inspire action from stakeholders.
“By presenting data in a scientific way, it is possible to see the gaps and engineer appropriate responses,” Oscar said.
Revealing that the training directly links up problematically with day to day activities, Oscar added that because of his new ways of presenting data, he has managed to buoy resource mobilization for the county nutrition programme.
“Malezi Bora is a new initiative that we are running with the partners to accelerate routine nutrition services, thanks to insights generated as result of the training competencies,” he added.
In Migori County, Wilred Obwocha, the Health Records Information Officer says every health officer in the country should undergo the training. Why?
“My working life has been greatly improved. Using maps, it is easier to pass information and create conversations that yields targeted action,” he says.
Following his training in March and April 2018, Obwocha made a map presentation to the County Assembly members on the uptake of family planning in the county, a move that saw the lawmakers pledge allocation of finances to support family planning programmes in the county.
In yet another instance, Obwocha made a presentation during the 2018 Devolution Conference on the nexus between road network and antenatal care which he reckons, was well received.
“Maps generated by beneficiaries of these trainings are now found in key county documents such as strategic plans as well as integrated development plans,” Obwocha averred.
Another beneficiary, Richard Wanyonyi said new data presentation skills has set the trainees apart in the counties; making them go-to resource persons.
“With new skills, we can effectively show causality on a number of indicators as well as target various stakeholders such as financers, and government with actionable data,” Wanyonyi who is Bungoma County HRIO, said.
The three joined other health officers drawn from Bungoma, Kisumu, Migori, Nakuru and Siaya counties for the third tier training beginning Monday May 14, 2018. At the end of the weeklong workshop, the beneficiaries are expected to undertake specific functions to enhance service delivery in the devolved units.
Key among the action points will be mapping the distribution of health facilities as well as clients; ground the correlation between diseases and their respective causes; besides generating trends and forecasts of disease prevalence in the counties.
The trainings, organized under the auspices of the USAID-funded HIGDA Project, are part of strategies through which the Project hopes to strengthen institutional capacity in Kenya’s health value chain.