• April 15, 2024
  • Last Update April 15, 2024 8:58 AM
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Ministry of health to adopt technology in efforts to increase efficiency

Ministry of health to adopt technology in efforts to increase efficiency


Friday, March 29, 2024

KNA by Joseph Ng’ang’a

The Ministry of Health is increasing its technological adoption as it seeks to increase efficiency, be cost effective, reduce wastage and expand its reach at the grassroots level.

Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha said that in October 2023, President William Ruto assented to the Digital Health Act No.15 of 2023.

The CS explained that the Act, which formally commenced on November 2, 2023 is in line with both Global and local trends on embracing digital technology in the health sectors to both increase operational efficiency and enhance delivery of health services.

Speaking on Friday at Afya house during a ceremony to receive tablets donated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nakhumicha said “As a government we are in the race to deliver the promise of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)”.

Nakhumicha explained that the initial investment in the infrastructure and equipment to drive the digital transformation can be expensive and may be a bit prohibitive.

“But we can all agree that where we have deployed these technologies and the results have proven us right,” said Nakhumicha.

The CS explained that they firmly believe that with collaborations with development partners like WHO, they can increase the adoption of technology and increase efficiency.

“I wish to sincerely thank WHO for responding to our request for support in this area and 940 tablets are quite a boost for the work of the National Vaccines and Immunization Programme,” said Nakhumicha.

The CS explained that provision of high quality maternal and child health services is a key part of their focus to enhance primary healthcare as they work towards eliminating preventable maternal and child deaths and accurate data on immunization is essential.

“It is therefore fitting that the tablets will be deployed at the National Vaccines and Immunization Programme where they will help enhance data quality for decision making on our immunization programme. It is my desire and hope that these tablets will go a long way in ensuring that the gaps that we have experienced before on data collection and transmission,” said Nakhumicha.

WHO Country Representative to Kenya Dr Abdourahmane Diallo applauded the Ministry of Health for rolling out an electronic data management system called the Chanjo-KE.

Dr Diallo said that the electronic system enabled vaccinators to record individual data and the vaccination status of vaccines using handheld devices while empowering those who have been vaccinated to print out their vaccination certificates.

“In order to support this endeavour of going digital, WHO is making available handheld devices for data entry and management that will extend to all other vaccines offered in the immunization schedule,” he said.

Dr Diallo explained that they have handed over to the Ministry of Health 940 tablets with screen protectors and covers.

“Each of the 940 units has a KNOX ID for traceability through remote tracking. The IT admins can remotely track, manage, configure, and send messages to the devices. These 940 tablets will go a long way to contribute to improved quality of immunization data and hence provide verifiable data. These data elements include vaccination records and vaccine supply stock at vaccination points. Data is the cornerstone to inform decision making and hence the need for quality data,” said Dr Diallo.

He at the same time congratulated the Ministry of Health for the resilience of its health system and more so the immunization programme during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Although the country has made strides to reach more than 80% of the target population with most of the vaccines offered in its immunization schedule, there are populations that remain unreached. Also, coverage of some vaccines is below 80% such as HPV for adolescent girls and the second dose of measles rubella vaccine,” said Dr Diallo.

He highlighted that using paper-based documentation, some children, adolescents and adults are vaccinated, but the data is not recorded or recorded erroneously or missed during compilation as he explained that with the use of the electronic devices, these data errors will be reduced significantly if not completely eliminated.

Courtesy; KNA

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